Tote Win: £7.00 Tote Place: £2.20,2.00,2.60
Straight Forecast: £26.27 Exacta: £28.90 Trifecta: £149.00 Swingers: 1&2:3.50 2&3:6.70 1&3:7.80
Jackpot: £142,083.50, Pool: £200117.69, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot: £60.60, Pool: £970517.56, 11686.68 winning tickets
Quadpot: £9.30, Pool: £40783.77, 3221.34 winning tickets
No-one could say that he didn't deserve this victory, after finishing in the first two in all of his starts over fences, and in the end it was a relatively straightforward win for CAPTAIN CHRIS. Philip Hobbs had had long discussions with his owners, Graham and Diana Whateley, about whether to go for this race or the new Jewson race, but boy did they choose right. He was settled nicely by Richard Johnson into a pairing with Ghizao just behind a leading trio of Dan Breen, Finian's Rainbow and Stagecoach Pearl, and he jumped as well as he had done on his previous start at Kempton. He was pushed along at the top of the hill to keep tabs on the strong-travelling Finian's Rainbow, but he jumped the last three fences as well as Nicky Henderson's charge which was one of the keys to this success. Drawing level before the last, he was steadied into it by Johnson and although he hung right a little in the final 100 yards, there was no doubt that he had broken the heart of Finian's Rainbow by then. The runner-up jumped like a stag throughout, and was really just a little unlucky to bump into a better horse on the day. His jockey Barry Geraghty looked confident as his horse free-wheeled down the hill and whilst he battled on all the way to the line, his goose looked before the last fence. He has plenty of class and looks a future Champion Chase candidate, whilst the winner may be more of a force over slightly longer races. Third home was Realt Dubh, and he ran very well. This was miles more competitive than the Irish version he won earlier in the season, and whilst he travelled well for a long way, one always got the impression that he was going a tad quicker than he could truly cope with. He is a strapping individual who will tackle three miles in time and it is to his credit that he saw off a determined Medermit for third. His performance had plenty of negatives and positives. Jockey Robert Thornton never looked pleased with him, and the horse seemed to be taken out of his comfort zone by the strong gallop. A fiddly jump at the first seemed to rock him, and he was far from fluent at several later fences, including before the top of the hill which really stopped him in his tracks. On the plus side, he did ever so well to get himself anywhere near the leaders down the hill and he plugged on all the way for the line without ever threatening the first two home. One assumes that he will be back up in trip wherever he heads to next. Ghizao was prominent in the betting and he soared over the first few fences. However he was a bit low at one of the fences down the back stretch and he then made a shuddering error at the ninth fence. Asked for a big one by Timmy Murphy, just as the race was developing, he took off far too early and almost landed on the fence. To his credit he squeezed himself back into contention but the error took its toll and he was beaten before the turn for home. Dan Breen and Stagecoach Pearl paid the price for trying to live with a strong early gallop as neither has the class of Finian's Rainbow, whilst Rock Noir didn't jump with any fluency and he never looked like featuring following several bad mistakes; he has something to prove now, although deeper ground and a slower pace may see him in a better light.