Rhododendron put in a brave performance to land the Lockinge at Newbury four weeks ago and deserves her place at the top of the betting here, while the reopposing runner-up Lightning Spear seems to go best fresh and might not prove capable of running to that standard once more. Recoletos is unproven on fast ground, while Benbatl has a bit to prove at this level outside of Meydan. This event went to the USA in 2016, and YOSHIDA looks sure to go well at this level for Bill Mott. He has won his last two on American soil, including a Grade 1 at Churchill Downs last time, and looks poised to relish conditions under Jose Ortiz.
Prediction : 1st Yoshida 2nd Rhododendron 3rd Benbatl
Aidan O'Brien has landed this prize eight times and SERGEI PROKOFIEV looks to hold an outstanding chance in this year's renewal. A runaway winner the last twice at Naas and Navan respectively, the son of Scat Daddy looks ideally suited by this fast ground and seems to have the right temperament for such a test. Calyx looked impressive when winning on debut at Newmarket over this distance last time and the Kingman colt's effort there can be upgraded given that he was green in the preliminaries, while Cosmic Law won the Woodcote at Epsom last time and probably sets the UK form standard on that effort. Advertise and Dubai Legacy are other names to take seriously.
Prediction : 1st Sergei Prokofiev 2nd Calyx 3rd Cosmic Law
One of the battles of the week takes place as the brilliant BATTAASH and reigning champion Lady Aurelia renew their Nunthorpe rivalry. Plenty went wrong for the selection on his seasonal return in the Temple as he wasn't the best way and didn't adopt front-running tactics, as he had done when romping to a four-length victory in the Prix de l'Abbaye last October. Kachy made a beeline for the far side rail and posted a career-best when third behind the selection at Haydock and should inject plenty of pace into the race, as should the aforementioned American raider, who was given a recent pipe-opener at Keeneland. Blue Point could feasibly leave behind a moderate run at Sha Tin last time and makes some appeal on his course form last year, while the likes of Washington Dc and Mabs Cross could be picking up the pieces off a strong gallop and are worthy of consideration for each-way purposes.
Prediction : 1st Battaash 2nd Lady Aurelia 3rd Kachy
Tip Two Win was an impressive second at lofty odds in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month and would probably be a relatively short price here if trained by a more powerful stable, while Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Romanised represents a handler who hasn't had too many winners in 2018 but deserves respect on that form all the same. U S Navy Flag was ridden prominently that day and failed to hold on, with similar tactics likely to be utilised here by the Ballydoyle team. Wootton didn't look an easy ride in France last time, while Gabr looks held on form behind WITHOUT PAROLE based on their Sandown exertions 26 days ago. The latter remains unbeaten and wasn't suited by the rain-sodden ground on that day, but connections reported that he was behind on his work before that outing and this sort of test on quick ground is likely to suit the son of Frankel much better.
Prediction : 1st Without Parole 2nd Gabr 3rd Romanised
Willie Mullins has won two of the last three renewals of this and holds a strong hand here saddling five runners. Ryan Moore has partnered both of those winners and has chosen to ride Chelkar here who is interesting on his first start for the Closutton handler following 18 months off the track since winning at Chantilly, with stablemates Meri Devie, Lagostovegas and Stratum all worthy of respect. However the best of the Mullins battalion may be WHISKEY SOUR, who has won both of his last two starts on the level and has been in fine form over hurdles this season, winning a Grade One and placing at the Cheltenham Festival. Christophe Soumillon looks an inspired jockey booking and he could be the one they all have to pass here. Coeur de Lion sneaks in at the foot of the handicap and may prove to be the pick of the opposition having knocked on the door twice this term, with his Chester conqueror Look My Way another who must be considered. White Desert, an impressive winner on the all-weather last time, course winner Sam Missile and Karen McLintock's Chester Cup fourth Dubawi Fifty are others who make appeal at longer odds.
Prediction : 1st Whiskey Sour 2nd Chelkar 3rd Coeur de Lion
Owen Burrows Laraaib, a three-time winner last season, returned with an eye-catching run in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes when second to Poet's Word and is sure to be a leading figure here. Fabricate was fourth that day and Michael Bell's gelding has solid each-way possibilities for his Royal connections. Sir Michael Stoute's Goodwood Listed winner Mirage Dancer appears the pick of his duo, while the other Prince Khalid Abdullah representative Monarchs Glen, a three-time winner last term, could leave his Meydan run in the past with the hood now applied. However, preference is for SHARJA BRIDGE, who travelled through his race like the winner when second at Newmarket and can make amends now with the benefit of that run and an extra furlong set to suit.
Prediction : 1st Sharja Bridge 2nd Laraaib 3rd Mirage Dancer