DUBAI CREST was attempting to give 7lb to the useful Cotillion when beaten at Uttoxeter four weeks ago. That was a big improvement on his previous run at Hereford and Nicky Henderson's charge can regain the winning thread here at the chief expense of Midnight Opera, who has been keeping better company but has become a little disappointing of late. Silver Lily needs to step up considerably on a couple of wins in sellers if she is to complete her hat-trick but Moonwolf and Ixora have the form to figure if returning from an absence at the top of their game.
Midnight Opera 9-1 (11-5) Mid-division, headway and in touch 4th, chased leaders after 3 out, kept on same pace, no impression, 4th of 13, 17l behind King Ozzy (10-9) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gd in May.
Dubai Crest 10-3 (11-5) Raced keenly, led narrowly, headed before 3 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace from next, no impression, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Cotillion (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Moonwolf (NZ) 7-1 (11-5) Behind, smooth headway on outside before 2 out, chased leaders 2 out, nudged along and kept on, never near leading trio, 4th of 14, 6l behind Present To You (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Silver Lily (IRE) 11-4 (10-10) Mid-division, headway 5th, went 2nd 3 out, led next, not fluent last, pushed out, won at Stratford 2m mrs nov sll hdl (5) gf in May beating Ice Bellini (10-10) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Joe Rua (USA) 33-1 (11-5) Led until 4th, soon driven and lost place, tailed off, 6th of 14, well behind Zakeeta (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f 3yo hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Ixora (IRE) 15-2 (10-11) Tracked leader until approaching 5th, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 10th of 15, 50l behind Line Freedom (10-10) at Towcester 2m mares NH nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
The Winged Assasin (USA) 22-1 (8-10) Held up, headway on inside 4f out, ridden and every chance when edged right over 1f out, no extra well inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Frontline Phantom (8-5) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in May (flat).