Conquerant was narrowly denied over 1m2f at Leicester a week ago and Hesbaan went close at Ripon last time. But both have had plenty of chances and the less exposed ESTEBAN is preferred. He produced a decent debut effort at Haydock and, with this faster ground likely to suit Marco Botti's charge, he gets the nod ahead of Tercel. The latter looks another likely improver though the Newmarket maiden he finished seventh in hasn't worked out very well. Any strong support for the newcomer Arquimedes should be noted.
Arquimedes (IRE) Montjeu gelding out of Piste Noire.
Conquerant 11-4 (9-5) Held up in touch, closed over 4f out, challenged from well over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, every chance inside final furlong, held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 3/4l behind Mustadaam (9-5) at Leicester 1m 2f 3yo mdn (5) gf.
Esteban 17-2 (9-3) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, stayed on one pace and no impression inside final furlong, 4th of 11, 4l behind Express Himself (9-3) at Haydock 1m mdn stks (5) sft.
Hesbaan (IRE) 6-4fav (9-3) Keen mid-division, ridden and headway 3f out, no impression over 1f out until ran on strongly well inside final furlong, not reach winner, 2nd of 13, 1/2l behind Bold Captain (9-3) at Ripon 1m mdn stks (5) gd.
Steve Rogers (IRE) 16-1 (9-5) Close up, pushed along 4f out, weakened 2f out, 7th of 11, 11l behind Shimba Hills (9-2) at Nottingham 1m 2yo mdn (5) sft in Nov.
Tercel (IRE) 11-1 (9-5) Held up in rear, late headway over 1f out, nearest finish 16nr, 9th of 15, 8l behind Basem (9-5) at Newmarket 1m 3yo mdn (4) gd in Apr.
Praise N Glory 100-1 (9-0) Slowly into stride, always behind, tailed off, last of 10, 25l behind Patterned (9-0) at Windsor 1m mdn flls stks (5) gs.
Stilla Afton 100-1 (9-0) Always towards rear, 12th of 13, 13l behind Western Hymn (9-5) at Kempton 1m 2yo mdn stks (5) pol in Dec.