Ultra competitive doesn't even come close to describing how tight this handicap is and with the top three in the weights holding marginally the strongest claims, CURACAO has the call but we wouldn't be surprised to see either Royal Diamond or Sherman McCoy on top either. The selection is hunting a hat-trick and it's possible he is still on the up grade. He held a subsequent winner on his last start and although his burden is up, he is still weighted fairly and just ahead of the re-opposing Devil To Pay, who was found wanting by half a length on their last meeting. Royal Diamond is also looking for a hat-trick, is unexposed and could improve past his six pounds penalty. He loves this trip and was also a winner on his only start at this venue. Sherman McCoy comfortably landed a similar event on his last start and with the lines from that looking strong he should go well and defy his own three pound rise. We could be here all day making a case for several others but in a race where half the field have reasonable claims, Curacao is our suggestion.
Curacao 4-1 (9-10) Mid-division, steady headway 6f out, challenged over 2f out, led inside final furlong, stayed on (hand timed), won at Salisbury 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Jul beating Devil To Pay (9-8) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Sherman McCoy 7-2fav (9-1) Keen, raced wide in touch, led 2f out, soon ridden, ran on towards finish, won at Newmarket 1m 5f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Jul beating Doggerbank (9-7) by 2l, 11 ran.
Royal Diamond (IRE) 4-6fav (9-3) Held up and keen, headway over 4f out, led 3f out, ridden and under pressure over 2f out, hard ridden inside final furlong, just held on all out, won at Yarmouth 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gd beating Royal Premier (8-11) by nk, 6 ran.
Devil To Pay 7-4fav (9-8) Held up in rear, headway 3f out, led 2f out, headed inside final furlong, stayed on, 2nd of 8, 1/2l behind Curacao (9-10) at Salisbury 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Jul.
Supernoverre (IRE) 16-1 (9-4) In rear, ridden over 2f out, never nearer, 5th of 8, 7l behind Dome Rocket (9-5) at Epsom Downs 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Jul.
Moresco 16-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders, ridden 3f out, staying on when swerved left inside final furlong, 3rd of 11, 4 1/2l behind Sherman Mccoy (9-1) at Newmarket 1m 5f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Jul.
Admirable Duque (IRE) 18-1 (9-9) Took keen hold in rear, behind and eased 3f out, virtually pulled up, last of 8, well behind Curacao (9-10) at Salisbury 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Jul.
Dice (IRE) 7-2 (8-13) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead 3f out, soon edged right, joined 2f out, driven out, won at Brighton 1m 4f 3yo mdn hcp 0-75 (5) fm in Jul beating My Chestnut Girl (9-0) by hd, 6 ran.
Taste The Wine (IRE) 17-2 (9-7) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 10, 6l behind The Last Don (9-11) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) gd.
Ermyn Lodge 10-1 (8-6) Held up in 6th, headway over 8f out, strong challenge over 3f out, led over 2f out until entering final furlong, no match for winner, 2nd of 8, 2 1/2l behind Royal Diamond (8-11) at Sandown 1m 6f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Jul.
Miss Doodle 28-1 (8-12) In touch, ridden over 2f out, weakened 1f out, 6th of 11, 9l behind Galilean Moon (8-12) at Newmarket 1m 4f 3yo mdn (4) gd in Jul.