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Nicky Henderson has a sublime record in this contest having won every renewal since 2008 with some smart prospects including Vaniteux in 2013 and O O Seven last year. He looks to continue that record this year with Bardd, who improved plenty from his debut when winning a decent bumper here last month and looks another potential smart type for the master of Seven Barrows. However this looks a strong enough contest on paper and preference is for CRUISEAWEIGH, a very impressive winner at Aintree in a bumper and the form of both his starts has worked out very well. Tom George has been blessed with some very nice bumper horses recently and this could prove to be the best of them. Crystal Lad merits a second look on his form with Khezerabad over C&D last time, while Dashing Oscar got his career back on track with a win at Bangor and looks to have more to offer.
Hurdling-debutants CRUISEAWEIGH and Bardd have both achieved plenty in bumpers and represent excellent stables, so they're taken to get the better of those with experience, with the former marginally preferred. Crystal Lad shaped as if he'd come on for his second over C&D last time, so he's third on the list.