Tote Win: £6.50 Tote Place: £2.30,1.90,2.40,4.60
Straight Forecast: £45.41 Exacta: £56.10 Trifecta: £348.50 Swingers: 1&2:8.30 2&3:9.60 1&3:10.10
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
A popular victory, as BENSALEM, who had been travelling so well prior to falling in the race last year, gained recompense 12 months on. However this was no bloodless victory, as he had to pull out all of the stops to see off the game mare Carole's Legacy all the way up the finishing straight. The winner has had his well-documented problems but he was well-fancied ahead of this race and he travelled powerfully throughout. He did jump out to his right at a few of his fences, including the last, however once he had Great Endeavour in his sights at the third fence from home, he looked to have the race in his grasp. It wasn't as simple as that. Whilst the front-running Great Endeavour crumpled at the second last, and Bensalem jumped to the front, he was tracked through by Carole's Legacy. They locked horns after the last, but Bensalem just managed to poke his head out where it mattered. Barry Geraghty was riding his third second-placed horse of the day, but he gave his mount everything. Reve De Sivola was back in third, and he saw the new trip out really well. What scuppered his chance however was sloppy jumping throughout and it's a great credit to jockey Daryl Jacob that he kept the partnership intact. It's hard to be too dogmatic, but there's little doubt that Great Endeavour would have been placed at worst had he stood up two from home. He was joined, but hadn't been under pressure for too long and he has proven in the past that he has a heart as well as class. Thankfully both horse and jockey seemd to escape unscathed. Fourth home was Fair Along, who had to come from a long way back after a strange start. He was being led in on the inside but got chopped up and had to race a lot further back than we know his jockey would have liked. The race cut up quite badly from an early stage, with Chief Dan George and Sunnyhillboy departing fairly early. Rare Bob took them along for quite a way but he was pulled-up before the race for home had started to develop, whilst Razor Royale hugged the inside throughout but never looked like repeating his previous Cheltenham win. Adams Island departed quite early, hampering Reve De Sivola in the process, and in truth there were only half a dozen who had a realistic chance as early as going out on the second circuit. No Panic was one of them, having crept near the lead at that point, but he was well-held, as was Rainbow Hunter who raced more prominently than usual having been keen on his way down to the start. King Fontaine was fifth having not always jumped with alacrity, whilst Exmoor Ranger probably went close to a lifetime best with his sixth-placed finish.