This is easily the most competitive juvenile hurdle of the season so far and Royal Irish Hussar will have to jump better than he did at Market Rasen to follow up in this higher grade. Paul Nicholls won this last year with Sametegal and relies on another French import, Keltus, who made all on his first start in the UK at Chepstow. Kitchapoly had Hazza The Jazza behind when winning easily at Kelso but was well behind Royal Irish Hussar earlier, though is 8lb better off now. Cadoudoff's form in France was only modest but AINSI FIDELES showed a fine turn of foot at Bordeaux in the spring and new connections hold him in some regard. He's a half-brother to last year's winner and can follow in his sibling's hoofprints by landing this nice prize. Zamoyski won twice on the Flat but will almost certainly improve on whatever he achieves today.
Ainsi Fideles (FR) (10-3) won at Bordeaux-le Bouscat(FR) 2m 3yo hdl sft in Apr beating Plein Orage (10-7) by 2l, 7 ran.
Cadoudoff (FR) (10-10) 2nd of 9, 1 1/4l behind Idol's Lad (10-5) at Lyon-Parilly(FR) 2m 1f 3yo hdl gd in Jun.
Kitchapoly (FR) 7-2 (11-12) In touch, headway on inner 4th, led before 2 out, riddeen before last, clear run-in, won at Kelso 2m 3yo hdl (4) gd in Oct beating Estinaad (10-12) by 5l, 10 ran.
Royal Irish Hussar (IRE) 15-8fav (10-12) Not fluent 1st, tracked leaders, blundered 5th, went 2nd when not fluent 2 out, soon ridden, stayed on to challenge flat, led final stride, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f 3yo hdl (2) gd in Sep beating Fox Norton (11-6) by nk, 10 ran.
Keltus (FR) 10-11fav (10-12) Jumped well, led, narrowly headed on long run to 2nd, led again next, came readily clear from 2 out, pushed out flat, easily, won at Chepstow 2m 3yo hdl (4) gd in Oct beating Wooly Bully (11-5) by 5l, 5 ran.
Hazza The Jazza 16-1 (10-9) Held up mid-division, headway before 2 out, went 4th before last, one pace, 4th of 11, 9l behind Mixed Message (10-5) at Wetherby 2m 3yo mdn hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Zamoyski 11-4 (9-2) Tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out to chase leader, led last 100 yards, held on well towards finish, won at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Jul beating Autun (9-2) by 3/4l, 11 ran (flat).