Tote Win: £4.50 Tote Place: £1.50,1.10,6.20
Straight Forecast: £8.60 Exacta: £9.90 Trifecta: £160.30 Swingers: 1&2:2.10 2&3:4.60 1&3:9.60
Placepot: £7.40, Pool: £127034.27, 12525.69 winning tickets
Quadpot: £4.50, Pool: £6081.65, 999.27 winning tickets
This race has been a very good pointer in the past to the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the front two look like being solid contenders next month. BABY MIX had disappointed last time at Headquarters but trainer Tom George felt he had the horse back where he wanted him and so it proved with a convincing success giving three pounds and upwards away all round. Prominent throughout, he made one mistake at the fourth when he took off too soon but was quickly back on an even keel and pressed on from Dark And Dangerous after three out. A group of four broke clear of the remainder turning for home and Baby Mix was some three lengths ahead of the pursuing trio as he began to pour it on up the straight. He jumped the last two obstacles well and never looked like being reeled in despite a late thrust from Sadler's Risk. The latter was sent off favourite on the strength of his winning debut at the track back in January and ran a sound race in defeat. He produced a sloppy leap at the fifth hurdle but was poised on the quarters of the winning travelling well taking the final bend. He did not have that crucial burst of speed to go with the winner on the run to two out but kept on stoutly and seemed for a moment halfway up the run-in that he might make the winner have to battle. This performance should have toughened him up considerably and the stiffer test at Cheltenham will play more to his strengths. Dark And Dangerous was a creditable third but comfortably put in his place while Dildar, who was one of the quartet to go clear, was a spent force when jumping the last in tired fashion and unseating Ruby Walsh. He had not entirely convinced on his debut at Taunton and needs more time. Une Artiste was next home and had started to wave the white flag after being shaken up following four from home. This much faster surface and the fact it was just seven days after a winning English debut at Haydock represent viable excuses. The remainder were beaten out of sight but debutant Kayalar is with a decent yard and although he was already on the retreat when clobbering three out, he could be one to watch out for in a lesser grade.