Willie Mullins won this last year with So Young and can repeat the feat with SIMENON. Twice a winner over timber and a close third to Alderwood in the Champion Novice Hurdle here, he has been in brilliant form on the level scoring twice at Royal Ascot before not being beaten far in the Irish St Leger on his latest start. He can go right to the top of the stayers' division this season and should take this, though Un Beau Matin is a very nice recruit from France for Gordon Elliott and hasn't shown his best for the yard so far. Bat Masterson looks the main threat as he's done very well for a four-year-old and was only just touched off in a very competitive handicap at Gowran last month. Classy staying chaser Becauseicouldntsee makes his reappearance with another crack at the Grand National likely to be on the agenda.
Owega Star (IRE) 11-4 (11-4) Slowly away, soon in touch and raced in 5th, went 3rd entering straight and ridden before 2 out, 2nd but no impression on winner approaching last, no extra and dropped to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 5, 8l behind Maller Tree (11-0) at Naas 2m 4f hdl sft in Oct.
Simenon (IRE) 9-10fav (11-8) Soon prominent, led into straight, clear 3 out, stayed on strongly, easily, won at Cork 2m hdl gd in May beating Dazzling Susie (11-1) by 15l, 8 ran.
Bat Masterson (IRE) 5-1 (10-4) Mid-division on inner, mistake 3rd, progress to dispute lead from 5th, led 6 out, clear entering straight, soon ridden and strongly pressed, headed before last, rallied run-in to press winner to line, 2nd of 20, 3/4l behind Heaney (10-4) at Gowran Park 3m hcp hdl gd in Oct.
Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) 25-1 (10-3) Led to 2nd, in touch, lost place 6th (bechers brook), blundered and Fell 8th (canal turn), in a race won by Neptune Collonges (11-6) at Aintree 4m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gd in Apr, 40 ran.
Earlson Gray (FR) 6-1 (11-5) Held up in touch, progress into 4th after 3 out, 2nd after 2 out, no impression from before last, kept on, 2nd of 8, 6l behind Burn And Turn (11-5) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hdl gd in Oct.
Un Beau Matin (IRE) 16-1 (10-13) Tracked leader in 2nd and led halfway, strongly pressed approaching 2 out and headed before last, no extra under pressure run-in, 2nd of 8, 8l behind Jezki (10-13) at Naas 2m hdl Grade 3 (1).