Tote Win: £1.60 Tote Place: £1.10,2.90,20.30
Straight Forecast: £7.54 Exacta: £9.20 Trifecta: £819.50 Swingers: 1&2:3.60 2&3:103.20 1&3:31.70
Jackpot: £58,798.80, Pool: £372668.75, 4.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £76.20, Pool: £895990.3, 8579.31 winning tickets
Quadpot: £14.30, Pool: £32465.85, 1673.78 winning tickets
Willie Mullins does a very good job of getting QUEVEGA ready for the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals, although it's a bit like training Lionel Messi for a Sunday league pub team. The mare travelled well within her comfort zone in the middle of a tightly-clustered field and jockey Ruby Walsh still hadn't moved a muscle before two hurdles from home. After the flight he started to scythe through the field as the gaps opened nicely and by the time she came to the last she was in the front-rank. After the flight she was asked a proper question by Walsh and quickened away from her inferior rivals to win the race by yet another comfortable margin. This was basically a piece of work for her and a truer examination will come back in Ireland when she faces the boys again over three miles. The race was run at a dawdle, and as a result the finishing time was 14 seconds slower than standard. No one is saying that mares races aren't important, especially for paddock values, but if anyone wants an argument as to why they shouldn't be at the Festival then they only need to watch the video of this totally uncompetitive and farcical race. It was a tight thing for the places, with Kentford Lady taking second despite kicking the final flight out of the ground. Having been held up early on the outside of the field, Noel Fehily wisely got her closer to the pace coming down the hill and although she looked to be struggling as the pace quickened turning in, she relished running up the hill and was finishing with more gusto than most. A stronger pace, especially over this trip, would have helped this genuine three-miler. Golden Sunbird was third, stepping up on previous form (or giving a good indication that this form is worthless) whilst Alasi was fourth again for the second year in a row. She has done well for her owners but this is as good as she is, and it would be no surprise to see connections revert to mares chases if she continues to race past this season. Shop Dj was next and was doing all her best work at the finish, having tracked Quevega turning in, whilst Ixora deserves a good mention having shown battling qualities late on. Kells Belle was front-rank throughout and tried to pinch the race turning in, but paid for that effort in the closing stages when the closers swamped. What A Charm doesn't appear to have trained on from last-season's Fred Winter win, whilst Swincombe Flame and Our Girl Salley were both a little bit disappointing.