Tote Win: £3.40 Tote Place: £1.70,1.20
Straight Forecast: £11.04 Exacta: £9.10 Swingers: 1&2:4.50 2&3:1.10 1&3:1.02
Jackpot: £25,335.13 carried forward to Sandown Park, 3rd Dec
Placepot: £37.90, Pool: £68454.33, 1317.61 winning tickets
Quadpot: £11.20, Pool: £6851.22, 448.8 winning tickets
As confident a run from a novice as you could hope for, as the talented hurdler WALKON put in a powerful performance and thrust himself firmly into the Arkle/Jewson picture. He was held up in the early stages by Robert Thornton but was foot perfect at almost every fence, meaning he gained ground on the leading pair of Notus De La Tour and Will Scarlet at most obstacles. As the latter dropped away (as expected), Walkon moved through to challenge Notus De La Tour and jumped alongside four out. Again he was fluent at the remaining fences, and was firmly in charge before the last where another good leap sealed the win. It's safe to assume that the race will bring him on as he was quite exuberant throughout, and the sky is the limit. His profile isn't massively dissimilar from stablemate Medermit, and there is every reason to think that he can reach even greater heights than the Arkle fourth. Having said that, he shapes as if he'll truly get 2m4f+ (not disgraced in Coral Cup last season) so if he isn't quite top-notch, then the Jewson race is an obvious fall-back, certainly more so than the gruelling test of the RSA. More immediately it would be no surprise to see him gain more experience at the smaller venues, although a nice speed test like the Kingmaker at Warwick would be a nice way to see how speedy he is. Ultimately Zaynar stayed on for second, having looked to get outpaced before the home turn. He tends to jump out to his left, which wasn't ideal here, but generally he is a safe jumper and is not a bad way to help measure the form. Whilst others have questioned his attitude, he hasn't done anything wrong and just looks a bit slow; three miles looks what he needs, and he never looked like confirming his Triumph win over Walkon here. Notus De La Tour got tired late on, and surrendered second on the run-in. He had been very keen early on (slightly taken on by Will Scarlet) and it was no surprise to see him run out of petrol under his 8lb penalty. He jumps athletically and whilst unlikely to be easy to place as he's probably not top-class, connections always have the option of returning to hurdling with him as his mark looks workable. Otherwise something like the novice handicap at the Festival would be a fair target. Shammick Boy was lucky to win here last time and put in a mulish performance, always struggling before falling at the last, whilst No Secrets was again keen and connections may need to look to an easier assignment against more modest opponents. He was pulled up having made several jumping errors.