The defection of Dunguib appears to hand this to GENERAL MILLER though it's only 11 days since he had a hard race at Aintree. Nicky Henderson's charge had fallen at the first in the Supreme Novices' at Cheltenham won by Menorah but showed how unfortunate he was when just beating that rival in a Grade 2 at the Liverpool venue and has already been touted as a potential champion hurdler. Blackstairsmountain travelled well for a long way in the Supreme before the ultra-stiff track found him wanting for stamina. He couldn't quite cope with Luska Lad on very testing going at Fairyhouse subsequently but this track and ground will be just what's required. Loosen My Load finished around 14 lengths behind at Fairyhouse but was having his first start since November and is expected to get closer. Flat Out, a stablemate of Blackstairmountain, came out on top of the pair at Cheltenham when staying on well to be fifth though the track probably suited him better. Sweeps Hill was awarded the Champion Bumper here a year ago when Dunguib was disqualified and looked a fine prospect over timber when beating Some Present here in October. He's twice failed at the highest level subsequently but has had a nice break and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back.
Baron De'l (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up in touch, 7th 4 out, no impression from 2 out, one pace, 6th of 10, 17l behind Whodoyouthink (11-8) at Naas 2m nh nov hdl sft in Mar.
Blackstairmountain (IRE) 11-4 (11-4) Tracked leader in 3rd, improved in 2nd entering straight, travelled well 2 out, ridden to lead approaching last, kept on run-in, headed close home, 2nd of 7, 3/4l behind Luska Lad (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl G2 hvy.
Flat Out (FR) 20-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, headway 3 out, ridden to chase leaders after next, 5th and no impression when hit last, 5th of 18, 10l behind Menorah (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
General Miller 7-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway approaching 3 out, challenged 2 out, upsides last, stayed on to lead near finish, won at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd beating Menorah (11-4) by nk, 9 ran.
Grey Soldier (IRE) 11-4fav (11-9) Held up in mid-division, not fluent 4 out, chased leaders next, soon ridden and weakened, behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Escort'men (10-7) at Kempton 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Feb, 9 ran.
Loosen My Load (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Chased leader in 2nd, ridden in 4th entering straight, no extra before 2 out, kept on one pace, 4th of 7, 14l behind Luska Lad (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl G2 hvy.
Rollwiththepunches 3-1 (11-6) Led until before 2nd last, soon ridden, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 8, 13l behind Captain Chris (11-6) at Kempton 2m nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Some Slam (IRE) 5-2 (11-12) Led, clear before 3rd, reduced advantage 4 out, asserted before last, pushed out run-in, easily, won at Naas 2m mdn hdl in Mar beating Fingal Rock (10-9) by 5l, 25 ran.
Sweeps Hill (NZ) 4-1 (11-10) Towards rear, 6th approaching 2 out, soon no impression under pressure, eased final furlong, 7th of 8, 34l behind Hollo Ladies (11-7) at Leopardstown 2m nov hdl G1 in Dec.
Tilabay (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) Soon mid-division, progress after 3 out, on terms straight, ridden to lead before last, stayed on well on stand's rail run-in, won at Listowel 2m 4yo Ext hcp hdl in Sep beating Siberian Tiger (10-9) by 2l, 17 ran.