Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££2.20,£2.10,£2.40
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£7.60 2&3:£8.00 1&3:£5.30
Jackpot: £39,700.33 carried forward to Wolverhampton, 15th Nov
Placepot: £90.70, Pool: £205485.45, 1652.48 winning tickets
Quadpot: £18.70, Pool: £14914.11, 587.84 winning tickets
Tell Massini, Diamond Harry, Razor Royale, Massini's Maguire and Black Jack Ketchum have won the last five renewals of this Grade Two hurdle but this year's race looked short of that standard. In light of that it was, perhaps, no surprise that the first two home were having their first runs over obstacles after running in bumpers and the winner may yet achieve as much as his predecessors. CHAMPION COURT had been very well backed on debut for the yard in a Uttoxeter bumper but found conceding a penalty to one of Nicky Henderson's beyond him but it may well have been an above average race for the track. He was far from fluent at a number of his obstacles as Warren Marston held him up in rear but was no worse than novicey. It has paid to be on the pace over the course of the three days so, even though this was a slowly run affair, he probably deserves extra credit for making the ground up from last (which he did readily) and he stormed clear up the hill having jumped the last alongside Sybarite and Mount Helicon. Martin Keighley confirmed that the three mile novice contest at the Festival would be this season's long-term target and it will be interesting to see how he progresses as he did show his inexperience when refusing to join the rest of the field at the start and Warren Marston described him as a 'big baby'. Sybarite was the youngest runner in the field and only gave way at the last but still battled on well for second; he had jumped well in the main and did well to find his feet having pecked at the second last. Great things were expected from Mount Helicon when with Alan King but he didn't always look the most resolute; he's done well for new connections in Ireland but may not have relished the Cheltenham hill in these testing conditions having travelled into the race well. Final Day also travelled well for much of the race but found disappointingly little, Drumfire gave himself little chance with several sloppy leaps whilst One Cool Tornado failed to give his running. Yabora had plenty to find in this company but ran well for a long way having taken the field along at a steady gallop; he can win races when dropped in grade.