PACO BOY took this contest last year and can repeat the feat; Confront, Pressing and The Cheka rate the most serious opposition. We've sided with the horse who took this contest last year, despite the concern that he's perhaps a better horse over seven furlongs. However, that didn't stop him in 2009 and it shouldn't this time around either as he is the best horse in the line-up, goes well fresh and represents a yard firing in winners. Confront looks a potential improver representing a trainer who gets the best out of older horses. This Nayef gelding won on his comeback last year too, albeit in a handicap, and must be regarded as a big threat to our pick. The Cheka looked a potential star on debut before an injury setback halted his progress, however he won his sole start last year and remains a horse of immense potential, although softer ground may have been better for him. Globe-trotter Pressing is the last horse for our shortlist as he's officially the second best horse here with a rating of 117. That said he was well held in one start in the UK last term and may struggle to give weight away to some less exposed rivals. Beacon Lodge is useful but prefers a bit of cut whilst Cat Junior has ability but perhaps not enough to land this prize, one taken to go once again to Paco Boy.
Pressing (IRE) 66-1 (9-0) last of 14, well behind Good Ba Ba (9-0) at Sha Tin(HK) 1m Grp 1 gd in Dec.
Beacon Lodge (IRE) 5-1fav (9-1) 5th of 15, 2 1/2l behind Tamazirte (8-8) at Longchamp(FR) 1m Grp 2 gd in Oct.
Border Patrol 7-2fav (9-1) 2nd of 12, 1 1/2l behind Zafisio (8-11) at Saint-Cloud(FR) 1m Grp 3 sft in Nov.
Cat Junior (USA) 7-1 (9-0) 9th of 14, 6l behind Calming Influence (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m Group 2 sks (1) in Mar.
Confront 10-1 (9-0) 13th of 16, 9l behind Al Shemali (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m 1f Grp 1 (1) gf in Mar.
Fareer 20-1 (8-10) Held up behind, headway from 2f out, switched left over 1f out, ran on strongly inside final furlong, led near finish, won at Royal Ascot 1m 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gf in Jun beating Secret Society (8-8) by hd, 30 ran.
Paco Boy (IRE) 7-2 (9-7) Held up in last pair, steady progress 3f out, ridden over 2f out, went 2nd inside final 2f, ridden and no impression over 1f out, kept on well for clear 2nd, 2nd of 8, 2 1/2l behind Rip Van Winkle (8-13) at Goodwood 1m Grp 1 stks (1) gd in Jul.
Prince Of Dance 7-2 (8-11) Tracked leader, took very keen hold for 2f, led over 2f out, ridden and edged right just over 1f out, held on well, won at Newmarket 1m Listed stks (1) gd in Oct beating Shaweel (8-11) by hd, 5 ran.
The Cheka (IRE) 9-2 (8-9) Steadied start, keen hold, held up in rear, switched left and headway over 2f out, soon chased leading pair, reminder entering final furlong, driven and stayed on to lead final 50 yards, won at Newbury 7f con stks (3) sft in Jul beating Ashram (8-12) by nk, 6 ran.