Tote Win: £6.30 Tote Place: £2.40,3.70,3.90,2.70
Straight Forecast: £60.99 Exacta: £89.00 Trifecta: £1,984.50 Swingers: 1&2:22.50 2&3:49.70 1&3:30.60
Jackpot: £4,932.27 carried forward to Southwell, 9th Jan
Placepot: £247.30, Pool: £134602.9, 397.19 winning tickets
Quadpot: £61.00, Pool: £10245.46, 124.1 winning tickets
A magnificent feat as Tony McCoy, searching for victory in the last-remaining National (English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh) without his name on the roll call of winners, drove SYNCHRONISED home for a momentous victory. The engraver may have been readying his tools as they turned for home as the field had been whittled down to just half a dozen realistic contenders. Giles Cross, the eventual second, ran the race of his life as he only gave way to the winner over the last two fences and even then he was still fighting valiantly. He was still travelling best of all turning for home but McCoy had worked Synchronised to within a couple of lengths and as Dance Island made a mistake, and Bench Warrant fell at five from home, the winner continued to creep closer. He's not the most stylish or graceful at his fences but he produced an excellent leap at the last which ensured he came home in front. He did hamper the second slightly by jumping left but not enough to alter the result. McCoy was tactically astute and as strong as ever late on; this was vintage stuff from the Champion jockey. I'moncloudnine, always prominent, ran a cracker back in third, holding onto that position from the fast-finishing Ballyfitz. He was well-backed here but his jumping let him down once again. Whereas his low head carriage doesn't seem to help, the runner-up Giles Cross has a similar gait but he was foot-perfect at every fence bar the fourth last and second last. Flight Leader ran well for a long way but was brushed aside when the race for home started to heat up, whilst Maktu and Watamu Bay, fifth and sixth respectively, also performed with credit. The former was still there turning in but he had raced keenly throughout the early stages and that left him running on empty late on. Silver By Nature and Ballyfoy followed them in, despite the latter making several jumping errors. Also prone to hit the odd fence were last-year's winner Dream Alliance, who looked reluctant throughout, Royal Rose and Exmoor Ranger. The winner has now won two Nationals, adding this race to his Midlands win at Uttoxeter, and he may well win more. Whether he would head for the big one at Aintree is another matter as his jumping is fiddly and clumsy on occasion, and the worry would be that were he to do that over the Grand National fences then his run might come to a very sticky conclusion. Connections suggested he might though and bookmakers reacted accordingly with quotes of 20-1 for April.