Fort Larned made practically every yard to land this prize last year when holding off the attentions of Mucho Macho Man with Flat Out well beaten in third. The former is likely to be taken on for the lead by Moreno this time and Mucho Macho Man may well take revenge on the back of a recent impressive victory at this track with Paynter four lengths back in second. Last year's disappointing favourite Game On Dude never recovered from a slow start but is unbeaten since and looked as good as ever when trouncing his rivals in a Grade 1 event at Del Mar. He's likely to start favourite once again and may well make amends. Planteur's six-length defeat by Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom at Meydan in March puts his chance into perspective, but Declaration Of War has a dirt pedigree. Both horse and jockey make their debut on this surface though the Ballydoyle colt reportedly worked well in a gallop on the Fibresand at Southwell. WILL TAKE CHARGE has done nothing but improve this year and reversed earlier form with Palace Malice to land the Grade 1 Travers Stakes over track and trip in August. Wayne Lukas' three-year-old rates a sporting selection taking on older horses for the first time here.
Last Gunfighter (USA) 11-1 (9-0) Lost footing st,3 wide, 5th of 8, 10l behind Ron The Greek (9-0) at Belmont Park(USA) 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) fst in Sep.
Paynter (USA) 10-3 (8-7) 5wd into str,2nd best, 2nd of 10, 4 1/2l behind Mucho Macho Man (8-7) at Santa Anita(USA) 1m 1f fll stks Grp 1 (1) in Sep.
Planteur (IRE) 4-1 (8-13) 12th of 13, 36l behind Cirrus Des Aigles (8-13) at Longchamp(FR) 1m 2f Grp 2 (1) sft in Oct.
Moreno (USA) 3-1 (8-10) Roughed, led, gamely, 2nd of 8, 2 1/4l behind Will Take Charge (8-12) at Philadelphia Park(USA) 1m 1f 3yo Grp 2 (1) in Sep.
Declaration Of War (USA) 7-1 (9-5) Tracked leading pair on inside, switched right off rail over 2f out, went 2nd inside final 2f, ridden to lead over 1f out, driven and stayed on strongly final furlong, won at York 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) gf in Aug beating Trading Leather (8-11) by 1 1/4l, 6 ran.
Mucho Macho Man (USA) 16-10fav (8-7) Bid 3wd,led into str, won at Santa Anita(USA) 1m 1f fll stks Grp 1 (1) in Sep beating Paynter (8-7) by 4 1/2l, 10 ran.
Fort Larned (USA) 3-10fav (8-13) Bumped gate, driving, won at Churchill Downs(USA) 1m 1f 3yo stks in Sep beating Windswept (8-9) by 1 1/2l, 7 ran.
Palace Malice (USA) 11-4 (8-10) 3w trip,bid 1/4,wllng, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Ron The Greek (9-0) at Belmont Park(USA) 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) fst in Sep.
Game On Dude (USA) 17-10fav (8-12) Rail,drew off,driving, won at Del Mar(USA) 1m 2f fll stks Grp 1 (1) in Aug beating Kettle Corn (8-12) by 9l, 13 ran.
Will Take Charge (USA) 9-4fav (8-12) Angled in, edged away, won at Philadelphia Park(USA) 1m 1f 3yo Grp 2 (1) in Sep beating Moreno (8-10) by 2 1/4l, 8 ran.
Ron The Greek (USA) 20-1 (9-0) Bold rail run from 3/8, won at Belmont Park(USA) 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) fst in Sep beating Palace Malice (8-10) by 7l, 8 ran.
Flat Out (USA) 5-2fav (9-0) Stumble brk, 3w 2nd, 3rd of 8, 9l behind Ron The Greek (9-0) at Belmont Park(USA) 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) fst in Sep.