Tote Win: £2.90 Tote Place: £2.10,1.50
Straight Forecast: £6.70 Exacta: £5.10 Swingers: 1&2:1.40 2&3:3.00 1&3:2.50
Jackpot: £10,217.40, Pool: £35976.84, 2.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £107.40, Pool: £356860.38, 2423.48 winning tickets
Quadpot: £75.80, Pool: £14836.96, 144.8 winning tickets
A destructive performance from the bold-jumping WISHFULL THINKING, as Philip Hobbs' charge jumped from fence to fence to pulverise his rivals. He was in third going into the first fence, but was so quick that he came out of it in front. From then on it was relatively straight-forward, as, despite racing keenly, he measured his fences well and when his jockey asked for a big jump he was rewarded every single time. All of his rivals were off the bridle before three from home, and Medermit only closed briefly when Richard Johnson steadied the winner into the second-last to ensure victory; this was the run of a true champion. He was shortened for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after this run, and if he learns to settle better, then his electric jumping should see him very much in the shake-up next March, with the King George at Kempton an obvious starting point for a horse who shapes like three miles will suit. Medermit ran ok in second, but was basically chasing a shadow. He made a slight mistake five fences from home, but in the main he jumped accurately. He won't always bump into a horse in such fine form as the winner, and he will be no back number if aimed at races such as the King George next season. Royal Charm was well-held back in third, and just looked to find things happening too quickly for him. His best form has come on much more testing ground, and he certainly wasn't disgraced here, despite the margin of defeat suggesting otherwise. Like Medermit, he wasn't great at the fifth-last fence, and he never looked like getting close to the winner from that point. Tharawaat came next. He set out to make all but had to settle for a chasing role after the first. After a bad blunder at the ninth he dropped back, but to his credit he plugged on. He lacks the class for this level, but no doubt his trainer will place him to good effect on decent ground over the summer. As alluded to, the fifth fence was a key point of the race, as not only did the second and third make mistakes, but Shirley Casper took a crashing fall whilst Hold Fast, having made earlier mistakes, finally paid the price for his sloppy jumping as he got rid of his jockey with a bad blunder.