Nichols Canyon has already won a couple of Grade 1 events and has the beating of McKinley and subsequent Thurles winner Sub Lieutenant on his victory in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in February. He may have found the ground a little too lively when only third at Cheltenham but still has over a length to find with the admirably-tough PARLOUR GAMES. The latter's second at The Festival was evidence that he's still improving and he's the one to beat here if he hasn't gone over the top. As De Mee is respected having won a Grade 3 novices' handicap at Sandown last month under a big weight - his stable won this last year. Nicky Henderson has won two of the last four renewals but his Days Of Heaven is upped in trip and class as he bids for a four-timer while Three Musketeers is a real chasing type who could find a few of these too speedy on the prevailing ground. Ballybolley won the Grade 2 bumper at this meeting 12 months ago but has plenty to find on the form book in this.
As De Mee (FR) 8-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders on outside, 2nd going well before 2 out, upsides on bit 2 out, led between last two, idled run-in, driven out, won at Sandown 2m 4f (1) gs in Mar beating Great Try (11-3) by 2l, 17 ran.
Ballybolley (IRE) 5-6fav (11-9) Prominent, led 2 out, clear before last, won at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Feb beating Go Conquer (11-9) by 6l, 10 ran.
Days Of Heaven (FR) 11-10fav (11-6) Edgy prior to start, waited with tracking leading pair, challenged going well when blundered 2 out, ridden between last two, led last, stayed on strongly run-in, driven out, won at Kempton 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Feb beating Vago Collonges (11-6) by 2 3/4l, 4 ran.
Go West Young Man (IRE) 11-4 (11-2) Tracked leaders, ridden before last, staying on when jinked badly left after last, one pace and looked reluctant, 3rd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Southfield Royale (11-8) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs in Mar.
Grand Partner (IRE) 7-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders in 4th and jumped slightly left at times, 6th entering straight, ridden from 3 out, went 4th again when jumped slightly left at last, stayed on well run-in to lead near line, won at Navan 2m hcp hdl in Mar beating College Boy (10-2) by hd, 10 ran.
Mckinley 8-1 (11-2) Mid-division, lost place approaching 3 out, weakened next, 11th of 21, 36l behind Killultagh Vic (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 4f cond hcap hdle (2) sft in Mar.
Mister Fizz 20-1 (11-5) Raced keenly, tracking leading pair, went left 1st, 2nd on long run before 2 out, every chance when not fluent 2 out, ridden and lost 2nd between last 2, 3rd and held when dived at last, 3rd of 8, 4l behind Our Kaempfer (11-8) at Kempton 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Nichols Canyon 7-2fav (11-7) Raced keenly, tracked leaders, headway and effort when hit 2 out, one pace approaching last, ridden and kept on under pressure in 3rd flat, not pace to reach leaders, 3rd of 10, 5l behind Windsor Park (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Parlour Games 13-2 (11-7) Held up in last pair, headway 3 out, effort on inside after next, soon ridden, went 2nd last, kept on but not pace of winner flat, held when rider dropped whip towards finish, 2nd of 10, 4l behind Windsor Park (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Seedling 16-1 (11-7) Mid-division on inside, blundered and unseated rider 4th, in a race won by Douvan (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar, 12 ran.
Sub Lieutenant (IRE) 7-2 (11-3) Tracked leaders, 2nd halfway, pushed along in 3rd after 4 out, 2nd and ridden approaching last, led run-in and kept on well, won at Thurles 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) hvy in Feb beating Milsean (11-3) by 6l, 6 ran.
Three Musketeers (IRE) 6-1 (11-4) Held up, went 3rd from 5th, went 2nd 4 out, led after next, jumped right 2 out, edged right and pressed after last, pulled out extra towards finish, stayed on well, won at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan beating Ballagh (11-0) by 3/4l, 7 ran.
Mertesacker (GER) 50-1 (11-0) Pulled hard chasing leaders, went 2nd at 3rd, jumped slowly 3 out, soon weakened, pulled up before next, in a race won by Winner Massagot (10-7) at Kempton 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Mar, 11 ran.
Port Melon (IRE) 3-10fav (11-0) Made all, pushed along before 2 out, soon ridden, kept on, driven out, won at Taunton 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gd beating Go Odee Go (11-0) by 1l, 8 ran.