Tote Win: £4.70 Tote Place: £2.20,7.10,6.50,6.20
Straight Forecast: £137.29 Exacta: £114.90 Trifecta: £4,182.20 Swingers: 1&2:22.50 2&3:162.70 1&3:45.50
Jackpot: £251,836.38 carried forward to Uttoxeter, 19th Mar
Placepot: £4,332.10, Pool: £969985.4, 163.45 winning tickets
Quadpot: £530.70, Pool: £45633.74, 63.62 winning tickets
A finish reminiscent of the County Hurdle, as another Willie Mullins-trained horse came from a different parish to get up in the dying strides. This time it was SIR DES CHAMPS' turn under Emmet Mullins to scythe through his rivals turning for home. He still had a handful of lengths to find with the leaders at the final flight, but he met it well and put his giant stride to good use soon after, cutting down Son Of Flicka in the shadow of the post. He's a horse with scope for plenty of improvement, and it was probably just his experience (only had two runs under rules previously) which saw him get so far back. He'll make a nice chaser next season, but we may see him again before the season is out, especially as the handicapper shouldn't go overboard about this win. The runner-up was outpaced going down the hill as the race developed, but he stayed on really well and jumped to the front two from home. He really met the last on a good stride but seemed to get a little lonely on the run-in; it was harsh that he got cut down late on by the winner. First Point, like the runner-up, was never too far off the pace and he was another to fare well under a big weight, whilst Indian Daudaie ran a career-best. The four-year-old ran a cracker, putting in a great leap at the top of the hill to move almost into the lead. He had no more to give after the last, but this was a career-best. Kauto Relko followed them home, having looked a major player turning in. Like the winner he came from off the pace (although from not as far back), and this chasing type had every chance turning in; ultimately it was probably a little disappointing that he didn't see out his race too strongly, making a mistake at the last when beaten. Hollins likes soft ground so he did well to run on for a never-nearer sixth; he has size and scope and should make up into a nice chaser sooner rather than alter. Barizan finished seventh, which was some effort considering he went off like a scalded cat. He flattened the second hurdle, and wasn't particularly fluent thereafter, but his jockey tried to nick the race from the front coming down the hill and this must go down as a return to form; he's definitely a spring horse. Rose Of The Moon was outpaced after a mistake at the fifth, whilst Karasenir was another who found the hurdles getting in the way (not for the first time). There was more hurdling drama, as King Of The Night was just creeping into the reckoning when falling at the seventh, bringing down Siberian Tiger and Mister Hyde In The Process. As if that wasn't enough, Shalone then took a fall on the flat when turning for home. He was still in with every chance but clipped heels with Shoegazer, who himself was trying to muscle his way into the reckoning. After the incident he weakened, but he was probably starting to feel the pinch at the time.