Tote Win: £9.70 Tote Place: £3.20,1.60,2.10
Straight Forecast: £33.32 Exacta: £37.70 Trifecta: £216.50 Swingers: 1&2:5.80 2&3:3.60 1&3:6.30
Jackpot: £15,068.18 carried forward to Fontwell Park, 27th Feb
Placepot: £274.10, Pool: £162742.52, 433.38 winning tickets
Quadpot: £134.10, Pool: £9556.43, 52.7 winning tickets
Nicky Henderson had two three of the last four renewals with Punjabi, Binocular and Soldatino but there didn't appear to be a lot of market confidence behind Molotof who wore owner Simon Munir's second colours. The market suggested that Tonic Mellysse was the pick of Paul Nicholls' pair but it was ZARKANDAR, a half-brother to the brilliant Zarkava, who made a winning debut over hurdles. He had worn blinkers on all three starts on the level in France, reportedly due to being coltish; he had been gelded and needed plenty of time off to recover whilst his trainer felt earlier in the year that he still had plenty of strengthening up to do. He was held-up in rear before moving through the field on the back straight, he was momentarily outpaced on the turn for home but jumped to the front at the second last and stayed on strongly to score - as befits a horse with form over one mile seven on the level - having jumped the last alongside Molotof. He will now head straight to the Triumph Hurdle and is well regarded by connections who had doubts about his ability to handle the conditions and feel that a faster surface will suit. Nicky Henderson had played down the chances of Molotof who needed this run to qualify for the Fred Winter at Cheltenham. He raced on the heels of the leaders throughout, was niggled along before the last two but moved up to challenge at the last and was just outstayed on an encouraging debut. He had already been rated 126 on the back of his two runs at Pau and could be towards the top of the weights at the Festival following this performance but looks to have a future. Kumbeshwar was having his second run in a week and deserves credit for keeping on for third. Robert Thornton wasn't happy with the early gallop so took up the lead and set a decent pace, having been held up on his two previous starts. Kumbeshwar stayed on well and looks a real galloper, it isn't difficult to envisage him proving effective in the Fred Winter granted a stronger pace and better ground. Tonic Mellysse weakened out of contention after the second last having travelled and jumped well prior to that, shaping as though the run was needed and he can be expected to improve. Aikideau had finished behind Tonic Mellysse on his sole start in France; he showed ability and can improve for the run. Lamp won over a stiff two miles on the Flat and will be better suited by a stiffer test once handicapping. Kazzene was one of the first beaten; he had worn cheekpieces when making a winning hurdling bow over course and distance and the headgear is likely to be reapplied following this reluctant display.