A year ago, the selection went to Prestbury Park for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle, on the back of a very disappointing effort at Leopardstown, finishing fifth of seven in a Grade 2 hurdle behind Outlander.
It was then hard to make a case for him come March, but he ran a cracker to take third behind Martello Tower and Milsean. That was encouraging, but still left No More Heroes a fair way down the pecking order when it came to the novice hurdlers.
Jumping fences, however, was always going to be his true calling and he has taken to the game really well this season, winning all three of his races.
He’s scored at Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Leopardstown and his ability to get across an obstacle at speed and with accuracy has been deeply impressive.
His last run was at Leopardstown at Christmas and the fact has been rested since will mean he will strip a very fresh horse now.
We know More Of That was far better than No More Heroes as a hurdler, there was 20lbs between them, and that has to be a consideration.
More Of That has won both his outings over fences, significantly at Cheltenham, and has won four times in all at the track.
But he obviously has not been easy to train and No More Heroes, a young horse going forward at a rate of knots, can deal with him. As a son of Presenting, the drying ground should work in his favour.
I’ll be very surprised if Un De Sceaux doesn’t blow away the opposition in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
A horse rapidly on the upgrade, he has settled down really well this campaign and, though the odds are sure to be tight, only in the event of a fall or a bad blunder can one envisage defeat for the eight- year-old.
Twelve months ago Un De Sceaux landed the Arkle at the festival, so the undulations and unique demands of the track hold no fears for him. He bounced back from a fall at Leopardstown at Christmas to produce arguably his best performance to date at Ascot towards the end of January.
Un De Sceaux jumped and travelled quite beautifully through the contest, easing clear in the straight to beat Sire De Grugy by five lengths.
It is hard to picture Sire De Grugy reversing the placings and neither he nor the once brilliant Sprinter Sacre are anywhere near as potent as they used to be.
Sprinter Sacre has been in good enough form this season and there were shades of him at his best when cruising to success at Cheltenham in November. But then he subsequently had to dig deep to beat Sire De Grugy, who was none too clever at the last, by three parts of a length at Kempton and has plenty to find on that effort.
Last year’s winner, Dodging Bullets, was none too impressive on his solitary run this season when well beaten at Newbury in February and a watching brief seems best when it comes to him.
Special Tiara may well take on Un De Sceaux for the early lead and that has the potential to complicate matters somewhat.
But it would be a mild surprise all of the same, because there is no way you can see Special Tiara being good enough to match strides with the favourite for a full two miles.
Yanworth The Neptune investment Management Novices’ Hurdle has the makings of a terrific contest, which will finally reveal just how good Alan King’s Yanworth really is.
His record this season is four from four over flights and there are plenty who will not hear of defeat for him.
Yanworth made a big impression last time at Cheltenham, hardly breaking sweat to beat Shantou Village by seven lengths.
He could literally be anything, but his price is likely to be tight and I propose seeking better value elsewhere.
Willie Mullins’ Yorkhill has to be on any short list. He has reportedly been working particularly well and is sure to relish the fastest surface horses have been on all season.
When he met reasonably good ground at the Punchestown festival last April, Yorkhill showed his true colours, winning a competitive bumper.
He has won both his races over hurdles this campaign, at Punchestown and Sandown. He just about got away with it at Sandown, scrambling to victory in testing conditions.
Yanworth and Yorkhill are going to be tough nuts to crack, but I want to be with another Mullins runner, A Toi Phil, each-way.
He has gone from strength to strength and there was much to admire in the manner in which he dismissed Acapella Bourgeois, successful in the meantime, to the tune of seven lengths at Leopardstown on his latest appearance.
A Toi Phil seems to be blessed with endless stamina and, hopefully, that will stand to him when the war begins to rage.