Tote Win: £5.10 Tote Place: £1.60,12.60,4.80
Straight Forecast: £152.20 Exacta: £124.00 Swingers: 1&2:25.50 2&3:52.20 1&3:19.70
Jackpot: £24,106.92 carried forward to Southwell, 2nd Jan
Placepot: £1,125.10, Pool: £166821.8, 108.23 winning tickets
Quadpot: £94.40, Pool: £14709.13, 115.3 winning tickets
There may have been no Fingal Bay in this race but his Festival claims were still enhanced, as BARBATOS, who had finished behind him on two occasions already this season, made mincemeat of a competitive-looking field. Ian Williams' charge looked happier here than in small field at Sandown last time, and he moved well under a confident ride from Paddy Brennan. Creeping closer during the last three quarters of a mile, he then made a move between runners before the home turn and from that point on could be called the winner. He moved through to challenge for the lead (on the bridle) at the last and only had to be shaken up before storming clear up the run-in. Connections probably won't be scared of re-opposing Philip Hobbs' star at the Festival, as whilst the winner looks sure to stay three miles, it seems a strongly-run 2m5f at the track is perfect; the prices for him look generous still and he's one to keep on the right side of. Runner-up Batonnier is consistent, but fans will want him to win sooner rather than later, having now finished placed on five of his last seven starts. He was getting weight from most of his rivals (including the winner) and only really got going late in the day. Whether this means he wants a stiffer test or not is not completely clear, as this race seemed to be run at a decent clip. Third home Forgotten Gold did best of those who raced up with the pace (four of first five home were held up), and his jockey deserves credit for trying to nick the race before the home turn. He got tired late on but is going the right way and it should be remembered he had 11st 12lb on his back. A chaser in the making, he looks a nice prospect. Hard To Swallow came next and ran a fine race, having raced quite wide for a fair way. There was a healthy gap back to Judge Davis and Reggie Perrin, two outsiders who were far from disgraced, whilst some of the more fancied runners disappointed. Hurdling debutant (and favourite) Master Of The Game moved nicely for a long way, made up his ground well from off the pace, and held every chance coming down the hill. However his response when let down was disappointing and he was well-held, albeit under a considerate ride in the closing stages. Jump City didn't take every hurdle with accuracy and was a tired horse late on, whilst One Term was too keen early doors to do himself and backers justice. Watch out for him in a smaller field at somewhere like Ffos Las.