DYNASTE is fully justified to go off favourite after three impressive victories at Cheltenham, Newbury and Kempton. He has jumped like a seasoned handicapper and his most recent victory in the Feltham Novices’ Chase was the outstanding performance by a three-mile novice this season. Although Dynaste has not been seen for 10 weeks, that shouldn’t be a worry as this improving 7yo has been given a rest following a busy winter in which he won his first three chase outings. Boston Bob seems more likely to run in this and has won both his chase starts this term, albeit narrowly. Last time out he just prevailed in a blanket finish and would need to improve on that bare form to trouble Dynaste. He also proved himself at the Cheltenham Festival having been second in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle last year.
Lyreen Legend, a six-year-old, made a good impression when winning a hot Beginners’ Chase at Galway in October, and arguably ran his best race last time when finishing a close fourth behind Boston Bob in the Grade 1 Dr PJ Moriarty Chase at Leopardstown last month.
Unioniste is a very exciting 5 year old trained by Paul Nicholls who has made a big impact since landing on British shores. He was an impressive winner of a Grade 3 Handicap Chase at Cheltenham and he backed that victory up with his second win in Novice company.
Houblon Des Obeaux has tasted defeat on his last four starts but all were in Graded company and he wasn’t beaten far by Rocky Creek in the Reynoldstown last time. He was fourth in last season’s Pertemps Final.
Hadrian’s Approach comes into the reckoning on that Newbury run but was previously beaten nine lengths by Dynaste.
Super Duty could be the surprise here.