This revolves around the fitness of the top-class FIRST LIEUTENANT, who has the JNwine at Down Royal as his immediate target after this and will be in all the season's major races. His victory over Menorah in the Grade 1 Betfred Bowl at Aintree in April was the highlight of a superb season and there should be even more to come this campaign. This is no easy start, however, as Roi Du Mee has won this for the past two years and has a recent run to his credit though he could have done without falling last time. Tofino Bay had an excellent first season over fences winning three times including at Grade 2 level. He's probably reached his peak but should give a good account and looks better than the remainder, though the novice Toner D'Oudairies arrives in the form of his life.
First Lieutenant (IRE) 6-1 (11-10) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, 4th 7 out, close up when mistake 3 out, soon ridden in 3rd, closer last, soon every chance, no extra in 3rd closing stages, 3rd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Sir Des Champs (11-10) at Punchestown 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Apr.
Roi Du Mee (FR) 6-1 (11-8) Waited with towards rear, progess to chase leaders approaching straight, no impression in a dispute of 5th when fell 2 out, in a race won by Sizing Europe (11-10) at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) gd, 8 ran.
Tofino Bay (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Led, ridden 3 out, soon headed, no impression on winner from 2 out, kept on same pace from last, 2nd of 8, 22l behind Mount Benbulben (11-10) at Punchestown 3m 1f nov chs G1 (1) sft in Apr.
Noble Prince (GER) 11-2 (11-2) Chased leaders, struggling when hit 3 out, soon no impression, 5th of 6, 33l behind Rathlin (11-9) at Killarney 2m 4f chs sft in May.
Toner D'Oudairies (FR) 7-4 (11-6) Tracked leaders on outer, went 2nd after 9th, improved to lead 2 out, soon went clear, stayed on well from last, easily, won at Sligo 2m 4f chs hvy beating Go All The Way (11-2) by 4l, 5 ran.
Shabra Charity (IRE) 20-1 (10-4) Led, headed 4th, ridden from 5 out, no impression on leaders in moderate 4th from 3 out, 4th of 5, well behind Toner D'Oudairies (11-6) at Sligo 2m 4f chs hvy.