It was difficult not to be impressed with SIRE DE GRUGY at Chepstow. He pulled clear of several useful rivals, including Oiseau de Nuit, on the bridle and could be aimed at the Champion Chase with a similar effort here as he's already won a Grade 2. His Excellency produced several decent efforts last season after a winning a novice chase over course and season. He should be thereabouts again while Kid Cassidy was second in the Grand Annual at last season's Festival and meets third Oiseau de Nuit on identical terms. Special Tiara won a Grade 1 novice chase at Aintree in the spring but unseated Bryan Cooper on his reappearance at Naas, though is still preferred to Tataniano and the enigmatic Mad Moose.
Sire De Grugy (FR) 7-2 (11-12) Raced on inside, took keen hold early and held up in rear, smooth headway 7th, went 3nd going well before 5 out, soon 2nd, switched right before next, challenged and not fluent 3 out, led soon after next and came clear, easily, won at Chepstow 2m hcp chs (2) sft in Oct beating Majala (11-1) by 11l, 6 ran.
Oiseau de Nuit (FR) 28-1 (11-8) Mid-division, blundered 9th, soon behind, stayed on approaching last, no chance with leaders, 5th of 11, 19l behind Conquisto (11-0) at Aintree 2m 4f ltd hcp chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Oct.
Special Tiara 7-1 (11-12) Led when blundered and unseated rider 1st, in a race won by Twinlight (11-10) at Naas 2m chs Grade 3 (1) in Oct, 6 ran.
His Excellency (IRE) 9-1 (10-13) Held up in touch, went 3rd before 3 out, ridden before last, chased winner soon after, no impression, 2nd of 7, 6l behind Conquisto (10-10) at Ayr 2m lstd hcp chs (1) gd in Apr.
Kid Cassidy (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Held up in rear, headway approaching 8th, lost place before 4 out, no impression after, 7th of 17, 16l behind Oiseau de Nuit (11-8) at Aintree 2m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr.
Mad Moose (IRE) 80-1 (11-10) Refused to race, took no part, in a race won by Sprinter Sacre (11-10) at Aintree 2m 4f chs G1 (1) gd in Apr, 6 ran.
Tataniano (FR) 33-1 (11-2) Fell 1st, in a race won by Sire De Grugy (11-2) at Sandown 2m chs G2 (1) gd in Apr, 10 ran.