None of these can be dismissed out of hand, though Secular Society is unproven at the distance and Sagesse hasn't raced since March when beaten off today's mark on the Polytrack. Ifan ran out a narrow-margin winner at Brighton last time while Ex Oriente finally showed some improvement for a slide down the weights when placed at Newmarket. The veteran Colinca's Lad won this contest off a 6lb higher mark last year but SILK TRAIN gets the vote to come out best this time having gone very close off today's mark in both starts so far this year.
Sagesse 3-1 (9-2) Led, ridden over 2f out, headed over 1f out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Royal Alcor (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 6f hcap (4) pol in Mar.
Secular Society 33-1 (9-6) Mid-division, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 8, 9l behind Genius Boy (8-12) at Yarmouth 1m hcp 0-80 (4) gf.
Ifan (IRE) 11-4 (8-13) Soon led, ridden 2f out, strongly pressed from over 1f out, stayed on gamely final furlong, all out, won at Brighton 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gf beating Cravat (9-4) by hd, 8 ran.
Ex Oriente (IRE) 8-1 (9-4) Awkward start, slowly into stride, behind, headway under pressure over 1f out, never able to challenge, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Meetings Man (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 5f hcp 0-75 (5) gf.
Silk Train 11-10fav (9-3) Led early, tracked winner until 9f out, tracked leaders, pushed along over 3f out, headway to chase winner over 1f out, ridden and gaining on winner near finish, just failed, 2nd of 4, shd behind Jewelled (9-1) at Lingfield 1m 4f fll hcp (4) pol.
Colinca's Lad (IRE) 7-2 (9-4) Led, hard driven when headed 1f out, no extra, 2nd of 6, 2 3/4l behind Precision Strike (8-11) at Doncaster 1m 7f hcp 0-70 (5) sft.