Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.10,£2.10,£3.00
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£1.70 2&3:£5.50 1&3:£3.10
Placepot: £332.20, Pool: £77461.49, 170.2 winning tickets
Quadpot: £104.30, Pool: £5935.25, 42.1 winning tickets
An emphatic first win over hurdles for CUE CARD, albeit in a race weakened by the absence of Captain Chris and Bens Moor. There wasn't a break-neck pace here which meant that he was a little keen for over a mile however his jockey wasn't overly perturbed and was content to try and bury him away in midfield. He only made one semblance of a mistake and he was able to take up the running still on the bridle. He soon shot clear and was eased down by Joe Tizzard near the line for a bloodless success. The form is hard to weigh up with main market rival Nicene Creed below par; he was niggled along from an early stage which was a surprise given they were still dawdling and he doesn't appear, at first glance anyway, to have run up to the level of his Uttoxeter run. Another who should have featured more prominently was Castlerock. This half-brother to Bakbenscher should have relished the trip but having drifted in the betting before the off, he never featured from off the pace. Perhaps a more strongly-run race will see him in a better light. In the end there was a good battle for the distant runner's-up spot between Dear Sam and Mr Moonshine. The former was backed in from 20/1 before the off to start at half that price and this solid bumper horse ran a cracker on his hurdling debut to take second place. Mr Moonshine bounced back from his Hexham flop but may struggle under his penalty before he goes chasing. Iona Days was bang there turning for home and he shaped with plenty of promise before tiring late on; he jumped fairly well considering his fall at Fontwell three weeks previously. Colin Tizzard, trainer of the winner, suggested afterwards that he'll head to Cheltenham for the Open Meeting given that this was no more than a hack canter and given the way he travelled a drop to two miles wouldn't be a concern. Having said that, he looks the sort of horse who will be equally as effective over three miles; the world is his oyster.