Tote Win: £8.00 Tote Place: £2.10,1.60,1.60
Straight Forecast: £48.60 Exacta: £60.10 Trifecta: £221.00 Swingers: 1&2:6.70 2&3:3.40 1&3:4.20
Jackpot: £74,164.61 carried forward to Cheltenham, 17th Mar
Placepot: £933.20, Pool: £918439.44, 718.42 winning tickets
Quadpot: £211.90, Pool: £38065.53, 132.92 winning tickets
A dramatic finish to a race that has often provided some high class winners. With Aikman having taken the field along at just a sedate pace, there was always a danger that it would become a bit of a sprint and that's exactly what happened. Coming down the hill there were still a whole host of horses in with a chance, but it must be said that the most threatening was Oscars Well. Having tanked through the race, pulling his jockeys arms out for almost two miles (but jumping well in the process), he nipped through on the inside turning for home and quickened to the front. He jumped the second-last well, but on the approach to the final flight he quickly found himself with Rock On Ruby and FIRST LIEUTENANT for company. Jessica Harrington's charge jumped the last well, a neck in-front, but he lost his back legs on landing and lost all chance. Robbie Power did well to stay on top but his chance was gone and whilst he took fourth, connections will forever wonder "what if?" Ultimately though the drama was not finished, as with Rock On Ruby closing in on victory, suddenly Davy Russell got a fantastic response from First Lieutenant. With the stands side rail to help him, he flew home to mug Rock On Ruby on the line. A real chaser in the making, it's fair to say that the slow gallop would not have suited and it was a very taking run. Whether he was lucky or not is irrelevant, and to be honest, the way that Oscars Well had pulled makes one wonder whether he would have seen the race out as strongly as the eventual winner. The runner-up ran a cracker, and deserves to land a graded race sooner rather than later; this was a career best by some way for sure. Third home was So Young. After reports of him galloping all over the wonder mare Quevega, he was all the rage for this and was sent off an artificially short price. He was held up alongside Oscars Well, but wasn't as quick or fluent over his hurdles. Ruby Walsh tried to make up ground on the outside turning in, and he probably would have finished closer to the winner had he not hit the last, but ultimately he was quite well-held. There was a bit of a coming together with the winner approaching the last which may have led to this inexperienced horse taking his eye off the ball slightly, but there wasn't much in it. Megastar, held up off the pace throughout, ran on takingly for a never nearer fifth. He was back up in trip here, but this giant of a horse got it well and connections will look forward to a possible trip to Aintree before going chasing. Minella Class was next home, and it's a measure of the quality of the race (and also how it was run as well) that he was made to look one-paced. The front-runner Aikman was next, and was far from disgraced on this step up in grade.