Lisnagar Oscar was the 50/1 winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle in March but has to give weight to his rivals in this and may not be fully wound-up. It would be a fantastic training performance if Paul Nicholls could get Next Destination to win a Grade 2 after a 920-day absence but the mare Roksana shouldn’t be far away given she has placed twice in Grade 1 races over 3m and won, albeit luckily, at the highest level at Cheltenham last year. Wholestone was second in this in 2017 and goes well fresh but Copperhead and Kildisart will be back over fences in the near future. DECOR IRLANDAIS and Chapmanshype have been running in handicaps but both are at the top of their game. The former was just beaten in a Grade 2 at Warwick last season and is worth an interest in this with guaranteed fitness on his side.
Lisnagar Oscar (IRE) 50-1 (11-10) Mid-division, headway before 7th, led coming off home bend, stayed on well flat, asserting inside final 100 yards, won at Cheltenham 3m (1) sft in Mar beating Ronald Pump (11-10) by 2l, 15 ran.
Chapmanshype (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Led until 1st, prominent, led 3 out, hard pressed next, holding 2nd flat, stayed on gamely, won at Kelso 2m 5f hcp (2) gd in Sep beating Weather Front (10-13) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Copperhead 6-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, pushed along after 4 out, outpaced after next, soon weakened, fell last, at Cheltenham 3m (1) sft in Mar.
Kildisart (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, driven after 3 out, every chance last, ridden and stayed on to press winner towards finish, just held, 2nd of 23, nk behind The Conditional (10-6) at Cheltenham 3m 1f hcp (1) sft in Mar.
Next Destination (IRE) 5-4fav (11-10) Soon chased leaders in 5th, closed and slight mistake 2 out, 3rd approaching straight, soon on terms, gained narrow lead run-in and stayed on well, won at Punchestown 3m (1) Yielding in Apr beating Delta Work (11-9) by nk, 11 ran.
The Dutchman (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, hit 20th, blundered and unseated rider 22nd (2nd foinavon), at Aintree 4m 2f hcp (1) hvy in Apr.
Wholestone (IRE) 13-8fav (11-5) Tracked leaders on inside, poised to challenge after 3 out (usual 4 out), challenged between front pair turning in, soon led, clear last, ridden and idled briefly flat, kept on, won at Cheltenham 3m (2) sft in Nov beating Rockpoint (11-0) by 1 3/4l, 7 ran.
Roksana (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Held up mid-division, tracked leaders before 2 out, outpaced turning in, soon ridden, kept on same pace in 4th from last, never on terms, 4th of 9, 11 3/4l behind Honeysuckle (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f (1) sft in Mar.
Decor Irlandais (FR) 11-4fav (11-10) Waited with, soon in rear, slight mistake 4 out, headway on outer approaching straight, soon prominent travelling smoothly, on terms 2 out, soon led, strongly pressed and edged right run-in, stayed on well under pressure, won at Killarney 2m 7f hcp Yielding in Aug beating William of Wykeham (10-3) by 3/4l, 10 ran.