A race with a roll of honour that includes the likes of Pont Alexandre, Mikael D’Haguenet, Briar Hill, Bellshill, Death Duty and last year Next Destination, but with the greatest respect to the class of 2018, they look nowhere near that standard so far to date. That said, there still looks one or two promising types that might make the grade and of those, DEFI BLEU (best price 9-2) has shown in recent times that he’s at least going in the right direction.

Bitterly disappointing in his last attempt in this sort of grade over two miles at Naas last season, Gordon Elliot’s gelding seems to have improved immeasurably in the interim, and his most recent effort over today’s C&D suggests he’s now ready for another crack at a higher level. Staying on stoutly in the latter stages of a well-run affair, the son of Saddler Maker proved too strong for a quartet of Gigginstown-owned performers and with both his two victories in his career under rules originating from today’s course, that knowledge may well turn out to be a valuable weapon in the final analysis.


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