FAUGHEEN was one of the most impressive winners at Cheltenham though his victory was achieved over 2m5f and he's never run at this trip over hurdles. While that wasn't the strongest of races at the Festival he could hardly have done it any better and will take all the beating. Sgt Reckless couldn't match the pace of Vautour at Cheltenham nor Josses Hill at Aintree but this is his trip and looks certain to get competitive. The selection's stablemate Valseur Lido was behind Sgt Reckless at Cheltenham but did better at Fairyhouse where he comfortably saw off the challenge of Real Steel with the very disappointing Wicklow Brave well beaten. Western Boy and The Liquidator are both held on Cheltenham form.
Faugheen (IRE) 6-4fav (11-7) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 4 out where not fluent, led and hit 2 out, clear before last, stayed on strongly, impressive, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar beating Ballyalton (11-7) by 4 1/2l, 15 ran.
Quickpick Vic (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Prominent, carried left 2nd and 3rd, dropped towards rear 4 out, weakened after next, soon eased, tailed off,, 7th of 9, well behind Valseur Lido (11-4) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft.
Real Steel (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Led, jumped left, pressed when jumped left again and not fluent 2 out, headed approaching last where mistake, no extra and kept on same pace run-in,, 2nd of 9, 4 1/2l behind Valseur Lido (11-4) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft.
Sgt Reckless 9-2 (11-4) Held up towards rear on outside, closed 3 out, challenged before next and soon upsides winner, driven before last, no impression and readily held final 150 yards, 2nd of 10, 6l behind Josses Hill (11-4) at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gs.
The Liquidator 12-1 (11-7) Pressed winner, ridden and outpaced after 2 out, soon lost place, weakened flat, 11th of 18, 12l behind Vautour (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar.
Valseur Lido (FR) 5-2 (11-4) Held up, slight mistake 2nd, closer order to chase leaders from before 3 out, improved into 3rd entering straight, challenged on inner in 2nd 2 out, led approaching last, stayed on well run-in,, won at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft beating Real Steel (11-10) by 4 1/2l, 9 ran.
Western Boy (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Mid-division in touch, effort on outside after 2 out, one pace approaching last, no impression flat, 7th of 18, 10l behind Vautour (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar.
Wicklow Brave 5-4fav (11-4) Held up, soon in mid-division, closed approaching 3 out, moderate 3rd approaching straight, soon no impression in 4th, no extra 2 out,, 6th of 9, 37l behind Valseur Lido (11-4) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft.