Nicky Henderson won this last year with Whisper and MY WIGWAM OR YOURS can follow suit. He's taken his time to come right but did so in emphatic style when getting decent ground at Newbury and can see off some smart rivals. They include Vieux Lion Rouge, who has won six of his eight races with his only defeats coming at the Festival here. Garde La Victoire has also suffered two defeats on the course but he's a really smart staying prospect and the 4lb he receives from the selection should aid his cause. Lookslikerainted landed a maiden at Ffos Las by a distance though the ground was very heavy and he'll be facing much better opposition. None of the remainder can be dismissed, especially the in-form Sergeant Mattie, in a very interesting opener.
My Wigwam Or Yours (IRE) 3-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, went 2nd after 3 out, led after next, soon clear, stayed on well, easily, won at Newbury 2m 5f mdn hdl (3) gd in Mar beating Call Me Vic (11-1) by 16l, 11 ran.
Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) 5-1 (10-12) Prominent, ridden after 3 out, lost place 2 out, soon weakened, 21st of 24, well behind Don Poli (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f (2) gd in Mar.
Blue Heron (IRE) 9-4fav (11-0) Made all, drew clear before 2 out (usual 3 out), unchallenged after, very easily, won at Chepstow 2m NH mdn hdl (5) sft in Mar beating El Macca (11-0) by 17l, 14 ran.
Garde La Victoire (FR) 4-9fav (11-12) Chased leaders, went 3rd at 7th, led after 3 out, awkward 2 out, ridden and kept on run-in, won at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gd beating Vesperal Dream (10-11) by 1 1/4l, 13 ran.
Lookslikerainted (IRE) 5-4 (10-7) Held up, tracking leaders, led 4 out, clear before next, hit 2 out, very easily, won at Ffos Las 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) hvy beating Tetralogy (11-0) by well, 6 ran.
Oscars Den (IRE) 8-15fav (11-5) Not fluent took keen hold soon tracked leading pair, headway when hit 2 out, led next, driven out, won at Carlisle 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec beating Sealous Scout (10-12) by 3l, 6 ran.
Sergeant Mattie (IRE) 7-4fav (11-6) Went right 1st, chased leader until after 2nd, went 2nd again before 3 out, led after 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, chased winner, still in with a chance last, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 9, 2l behind Ellnando Queen (10-5) at Plumpton 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Muckle Roe (IRE) 12-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 5th, driven and went 3rd before 3 out, hit 3 out, ridden and stayed on to 2nd flat, no chance with easy winner, 2nd of 13, 12l behind Mountain King (11-4) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.