One-time classic hope Native Ruler went down with all guns blazing when just beaten by Dandino in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket. That was his first run for more than 18 months and he'll be a big danger here if that hasn't taken too much out of him. But we're going to stick with the rejuvenated ASKAR TAU, who was given a very patient ride by George Baker to beat Akmal and Free Agent in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last month. Marcus Tregoning's stayer will have had his confidence boosted by that success and may well have the edge in fitness over several of today's rivals. Duncan is yet to prove he stays this far, while Electrolyser usually finds at least one too good and Clowance is better with plenty of give underfoot, as is the globe-trotting Manighar.
Duncan 33-1 (9-4) Close up until weakened 2f out, 15th of 19, 22l behind Workforce (8-11) at Longchamp(FR) 1m 4f Grp 1 (1) sft in Oct.
Askar Tau (FR) 4-1 (9-1) Held up in last trio, headway on outside 5f out, chased leader 2f out, ridden to lead 1f out, soon clear, stayed on well, won at Ascot 2m Grp 3 (1) gf in Apr beating Akmal (9-1) by 2 1/2l, 7 ran.
Blue Bajan (IRE) 28-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, no impression, 6th of 17, 5l behind Overturn (8-13) at Chester 2m 3f hcp (4yo+) (2) gf.
Buxted (IRE) 14-1 (9-0) In rear, headway to chase leaders 4f out, ridden and outpaced 3f out, driven and rallied entering final furlong, stayed on to go 3rd near finish, 3rd of 8, 8l behind Tastahil (9-0) at Newmarket 2m Grp 3 (1) gs in Oct.
Electrolyser (IRE) 5-1 (9-1) Led, ridden and headed over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, last of 10, well behind Samuel (9-1) at Doncaster 2m 2f Grp 2 (1) gd in Sep.
Free Agent 7-2 (9-1) Tracked leading trio, left 2nd 10f out, pushed along 5f out, ridden over 3f out, outpaced when lost 2nd 2f out, stayed on again inside final furlong to press for 2nd, no chance with winner, 3rd of 7, 2 3/4l behind Askar Tau (9-1) at Ascot 2m Grp 3 (1) gf in Apr.
Manighar (FR) 9-2 (9-4) 3rd of 5, 2 1/4l behind Zipping (9-4) at Sandown(AUS) 1m 4f Grp 2 hvy in Nov.
Native Ruler 18-1 (8-12) In touch, pressed winner from 3f out, ridden over 2f out, driven to lead briefly towards finish, ran on, just held, 2nd of 6, ns behind Dandino (8-11) at Newmarket 1m 4f Grp 2 (1) gf in Apr.
Clowance (8-12) 10th of 16, 9l behind Rio De La Plata (9-1) at Capannelle(ITY) 1m 2f Grp 1 (1) sft in Nov.