Tote Win: £2.80 Tote Place: £1.10,1.90,1.90
Straight Forecast: £10.54 Exacta: £11.20 Trifecta: £34.90 Swingers: 1&2:2.30 2&3:5.50 1&3:2.40
Jackpot: £50,000.00, Pool: £29101.45, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot: £1,295.00, Pool: £292330.94, 164.78 winning tickets
Quadpot: £246.90, Pool: £18802.25, 56.35 winning tickets
This looked like developing into a game of cat and mouse between HINTERLAND and Ozeta with both jockeys motionless as they came down the hill. However, the filly was awkward at the third from home, even worse at the next and dropped out fairly quickly before rallying a little. Her trainer had expressed doubts as to whether she was straight enough for this first run for the yard; however, the vet reported that the filly had tied up behind and was to be routine tested. She's worth another chance having won a decent contest on her only run in France. The winner was also one from one in France and was conceding weight to all bar one of the field as a result but he does have plenty of size and scope about him. The pace wasn't that strong and there must have been a worry that some of the speedier types could have done him for a turn of foot but Ruby Walsh always exuded the utmost confidence and he looks a smart recruit. Connections made no secret of their excitement after the race but were reluctant to commit him to the Triumph Hurdle (for which he attracted quotes between 5-1 and 10-1) at this early stage of the season. Katchit was the last horse to win both races when completing the double in 2006-7 and the last two Triumph Hurdle winners didn't make their British debuts until February. There was plenty to like about the run of Hollow Tree, a progressive handicapper on the level before making a winning hurdling debut for this yard at Bangor. He was sweating (as he had at Bangor) and a shade too keen in front but the way that he rallied to give chase to the winner up the hill was impressive and, given he won over 14f on the level, it's not hard to think that he'll be capable of better granted a stronger pace or when stepped up in trip. Secret Edge represents a yard with a fine record with their juvenile hurdlers but the son of Tobougg doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary although his chances weren't helped by a serious mistake on the far side. Alan King, however, is adept at bringing improvement from his hurdlers throughout the course of the season so there may be more to come and he did stay on again having become outpaced. Jackies Solitaire had beaten Secret Edge when the latter made his debut but had been well held on soft ground since; this better ground helped to show her in a better light and she helps to set the standard for the race. Traitor and Bradbury were well held on this step up in class whilst Thunder Sheikh was readily outpointed on his racecourse bow although ran well enough for long enough to believe that he has a future at the right level.