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Gaillard Du Mesnil achieved plenty in bumpers as a three-year-old in France, supplementing his maiden win with a couple of places at graded level, and he made a promising start over hurdles on his debut for Willie Mullins at Punchestown last month, holding every chance entering the straight but a bad mistake at the last putting paid to his chances of victory. He is open to progress in this sphere and is well capable of going one better.
A progressive sort, Unexpected Depth posted a career-best effort to land a big-field handicap hurdle at Punchestown earlier this month, taking his tally to three wins in his last four runs.
He got the job done in impressive fashion, particularly considering it came after a 14-month absence, and that is probably not the end of his progression, either. Better yet is expected and he commands plenty of respect.
Sire Du Berlais ended last season with victory in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham in March, retaining his Festival staying crown, and he picked up where he left off when taking the step up to graded level in his stride at Navan last month, unsurprisingly leaving it late dropped in trip as he landed the Lismullen Hurdle.
This step back up to three miles should suit, and he looks the one they all have to beat as he bids for his first victory at the highest level.
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Artic Light is twelve runs without a win, but he got back on track when second in a handicap hurdle at Cork last month, and he has a good chance on the pick of his form. He was no real match for the improving winner on that occasion, but he did pull seven lengths clear of the remainder and, stepped back up in trip, he is very much one to consider.
One of last season’s best staying novice chasers – second to Champ in the RSA – Minela Indo made it two wins from two for the season when successful in a Navan Grade 2 last month, following up from his reappearance win with minimum fuss, quickly on top of his main rival in the straight. He will need to step up again if he is to land his first victory at Grade 1 level, but he is a top-class prospect with leading claims.
The Big Getaway made up into a useful performer over hurdles last season, finishing third to Envoi Allen in the Ballymore at Cheltenham, but he proved a let-down on his debut over fences at Navan earlier this month, something not right with him as Paul Townend quickly accepted the situation.
He is very much a chaser on looks though, and he is probably best forgiven that outing. He remains one to be positive about and tops the shortlist for this contest.
An easy winner on his sole outing in British points back in February 2019, Ramillies was strong in the betting ahead of his Rules debut at this venue last year, and he shaped better than the bare result, travelling like the best horse in the race but weakening in the final furlong and ultimately having to settle for fourth.
He is open to plenty of improvement and is one to remain positive about, particularly with the Willie Mullins’ yard in such good form at present.
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