Tote Win: £5.10 Tote Place: £2.30,2.70
Straight Forecast: £17.43 Exacta: £23.30 Swingers: 1&2:2.50 2&3:12.20 1&3:11.30
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 good ride; a disappointment; a gallant second, this race had it all. Victory went the way of NACARAT, who was always in the front-rank and jumped impeccably (bar the second-last). Jockey Paddy Brennan quickened the pace around halfway before slackening it off, but the race winning move came just before the swing round for home as he kicked from the front. He winged the third-last fence, taking himself further away from the field, and then sealed the victory with a fine leap at the last. Had he fiddled that fence then he may have given the runner-up Carole's Legacy a real chance, however his jockey was brave, as was the horse, and the win was theirs. He's a much better horse on decent ground like this, and he wasn't forced to go too fast as in previous races such as the King George. To be fair this race worked out perfectly, but this smashing grey certainly deserved his day in the sun as he won his first ever Grade One. The runner-up has been a real credit to connections, and this sizeable mare will now go off to the paddocks where she will be covered by Kayf Tara. Her owner-breeder Paul Murphy has done fantastically well with the family and if she produces anything half as brave as her then she will be considered a success. She ran on well off the final turn but just lacked the class to really threaten the winner. Third home was Follow The Plan, who probably ran a career best. Keen in the early stages, he then started to creep into the race from four out. Ultimately he was well-held, having looked a threat to Carole's Legacy two from home, but this was some effort. Next was Deep Purple who disputed some of the early running but wasn't quite so fluent as the winner. He eventually weakened out of things around three from home, and he would probably relish a drop in class and a return to a shorter trip. Next home was Denman. This old warrior had run a cracker when second to Long Run in the Gold Cup, but laboured here. Aintree has never brought out the best in him, and the writing was on the wall again here from some way out. As early as the second furlong Ruby Walsh was urging his mount to go faster and he was niggling more seriously with a lap left to run. Back and forth in position from second to fifth, he wasn't fluent down the far side and from that point the race was gone. He gave vain chase of Nacarat turning in but he was a spent force by the last fence. Where he goes next, be it a field for life or just for the summer, is a big question. On his Cheltenham run he can still win races of this calibre when granted favourable conditions, but on this run he looks to have earned his retirement. Punchestowns was another disappointment; he has not lived up to expectations over fences and might be worth trying over hurdles again, perhaps over two and a half miles rather than this trip.