Bouggler is the only four-year-old to have won this in recent years but proved it can be done and Sam Winner looked as though a longer trip would suit when staying on in the Triumph Hurdle. Ruby Walsh prefers him over Neptune Investment runner-up Rock On Ruby and the progressive Rebel Rebellion which is a bit of a surprise as Rock On Ruby's Cheltenham effort was very impressive. Spirit Son produced a superb run when beaten a couple of lengths by Al Ferof in what looked a very strong line-up for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. He had CUE CARD over four lengths away in fourth and Recession Proof just behind in fifth but this longer trip may play to the strengths of Cue Card, who earns the vote as he couldn't quite match the pace of the front three when push came to shove. Bold Sir Brian had the short-priced Storm Brig a long way behind in a Grade 2 at Kelso but the latter was obviously not on his game. That looked a good race, however, and it would be no surprise to see a big show from either.
Bold Sir Brian (IRE) 20-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, headway 2 out, ridden to lead after last, stayed on strongly, won at Kelso 2m 2f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Mar beating Desert Cry (11-5) by 4l, 10 ran.
Cue Card 7-4fav (11-7) Mid-division, headway 3 out, led narrowly next, soon ridden and headed, kept on same pace under pressure approaching last, no extra flat, 4th of 15, 7l behind Al Ferof (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Drill Sergeant 16-1 (9-12) In touch, ridden after 3 out, weakened soon after, tailed off, 16th of 24, 40l behind Alarazi (10-3) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd in Mar.
Drive Time (USA) 4-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, led before 2 out, hit last, kept on well, won at Doncaster 2m 3f nh nov hdl (3) gd in Mar beating Lidar (11-8) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Maringo Bay (IRE) 33-1 (10-13) Mid-division, headway approaching 7th, led 3 out, not fluent 2 out, clear last, stayed on well, won at Ffos Las 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Feb beating Teaforthree (11-8) by 9l, 14 ran.
Rebel Rebellion (IRE) 15-8fav (11-5) Took keen hold, tracked leading duo, travelling strongly when led 2 out, in control soon after, came clear between last 2, very easily, won at Sandown 2m nov hdl (4) gd in Mar beating Our Mick (11-8) by 7l, 6 ran.
Recession Proof (FR) 12-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders on inside, lost place 3 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace, 5th of 15, 8l behind Al Ferof (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Rock On Ruby (IRE) 13-2 (11-7) Mid-division, headway 3 out, ridden to challenge on inside between last 2, left in lead last, soon ridden, kept on under pressure flat, headed post, 2nd of 12, shd behind First Lieutenant (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Spirit Son (FR) 5-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, headway 3 out, challenged next, ridden and switched right between last 2, led narrowly last, edged right under pressure and headed flat, kept on same pace, 2nd of 15, 2l behind Al Ferof (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Storm Brig 6-4fav (11-5) Held up in rear, slow 3rd, under pressure halfway, never a factor, 7th of 10, 35l behind Bold Sir Brian (11-1) at Kelso 2m 2f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Mar.
Sam Winner (FR) 4-1fav (11-0) Mid-division, lost place 3rd, pushed along next, soon behind, struggling 3 out, 20th and still plenty to do next, ridden and headway into 7th approaching last, ran on flat, just failed for 3rd, not reached leaders, 4th of 23, 5l behind Zarkandar (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.