Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.10,£6.80
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£2.70 2&3:£5.90 1&3:£1.40
Jackpot: £3,934.33 carried forward to Taunton, 30th Dec, 0.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £74.60, Pool: £108288.43, 1058.58 winning tickets
Quadpot: £54.10, Pool: £5376.05, 73.44 winning tickets
BIG BUCK'S maintained his stranglehold on the staying hurdle division with another effortless success over a relatively modest field. He had upwards of 20lb in hand on official figures and wasn't hardpressed to win by 6 lengths under the champion jockey. This told us little that we didn't already know about the brilliant seven year-old but connections will have been delighted to get him back on the racecourse (as evidenced by owner Andy Stewart's decision to sponsor this rearranged prize) having missed Ascot in December. He will reportedly head to the Cleeve Hurdle next month before heading to Cheltenham and Aintree all being well and it will be a surprise if he isn't unbeaten at the end of the season such is his superiority. Lough Derg has run some admirable races during the course of his career but had been struggling to recapture his best form in the second half of last season and the first half of this term. This was much more encouraging as he kept on well for second having adopted his usual position at the head of affairs. This also represented a return to form from one of last season's leading novices in Restless Harry who may well have snatched second in another few strides. Robin Dickin has resisted the temptation to send his charge over fences this season and was rewarded with a couple of sound performances at Chepstow and Ascot but Restless Harry was disappointing in the Relkeel Hurdle last time. He had run well on this card 12 months ago when going close in the Challow and produced a decent performance to go down narrowly to Lough Derg but he is likely to remain hard to place this season and his future will lie over fences next term. Kayf Aramis has enjoyed some fine moments during his career but is up against it in this company and looks too high in the weights for handicaps. Duc De Regniere was the disappointment of the race and it remains to be seen whether anything will come to light but it may just be that the ground was too testing.