never that fluent, raced keenly, tracked leaders in 4th, tracked leading pair 4th, awkward 7th, not fluent next, slight peck 3 out, pushed along in 3 lengths 2nd when fell 2 out
UN DE SCEAUX has won this for the past two years and should complete the hat-trick. Seven of his nine victories over fences have been at the highest level and he looked as good as ever on his reappearance in the Grade 2 Hilly Way at Cork, winning by 25 lengths having never seen another rival. Brain Power is the potential fly-in-the-ointment as he looked a potentially smart recruit to chasing when winning at Kempton in November and Nicky Henderson wouldn’t be running him here without good reason, though he had been headed when unseating David Mullins at the last in a Grade 1 at Sandown last month. San Benedeto has struggled a little this season and Kylemore Lough needs further while handicapper Speredek won’t get his own way out in front today and has a mountain to climb at the weights.
Brain Power (IRE) 15-8 (11-2) Led, not fluent 2nd, mistake and headed 8th, led again before 3 out, headed approaching when stumbled on landing and unseated rider last, at Sandown 2m (1) gs in Dec.
Kylemore Lough 4-1fav (11-12) Tracked leader, led 9th, blundered and headed next, in touch, lost place 3 out, soon weakened, behind when pulled up before next, at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp (1) sft in Nov.
San Benedeto (FR) 33-1 (11-7) Held up in rear but in touch, under pressure after 3 out, soon outpaced, 5th of 6, 12 1/2l behind Politologue (11-7) at Sandown 2m (1) gs in Dec.
Speredek (FR) 10-11fav (10-11) With leader, led after 2nd until 5th, pressed leader, switched left and led again 2 out, ridden clear between last 2, driven and stayed on strongly, won at Sandown 2m hcp (2) hvy in Jan beating Gino Trail (11-10) by 8l, 4 ran.
Un De Sceaux (FR) 4-6fav (11-12) Led, ran freely early, 2 lengths clear at 6th, asserted before 4 out, clear after 2 out, kept on well, eased closing stages, very easily, won at Cork 2m 1f (1) hvy in Dec beating Top Gamble (11-4) by 25l, 5 ran.