Despite just four runners being declared, this still looks a fascinating race. Altior is certainly the one to beat, rated 175 and with just two defeats in his 17 race career.
The last of those came way back in April 2015, and he is unbeaten over both hurdles and fences. Last season saw him destroy the Queen Mother Champion Chase field by seven lengths, the logical progression from an easy win (at odds of just 1/4) in the Arkle the season before.
Every horse in this field can be considered a danger though, even with Altior’s rating being seven pounds above the closest – Un De Sceaux. Clearly at his best over the minimum trip with his highest two RPRs coming over two miles, he’ll be certain to make it a stern test of both stamina and jumping.
Sceaux Royal and Saint Calvados are also both experts at this trip. The former improved throughout last season, and has the benefit of a prep run last month at Cheltenham which saw him win comfortably. He’s also a previous Course & Distance winner. The latter has had just five runs over fences, his only defeat coming in the Arkle when he failed to show up. A comfortable win at Naas last month restated his ability and he’s the dark horse of the field who will be hoping to show he truly belongs in this class of race.
No myracing analysis available for this race