Tote Win: £4.10 Tote Place: £1.70,2.80
Straight Forecast: £20.54 Exacta: £21.00
Jackpot: £38,079.25 carried forward to Aintree, 13th Apr
Placepot: £392.10, Pool: £382521.38, 712.07 winning tickets
Quadpot: £206.50, Pool: £15884.69, 56.92 winning tickets
MENORAH finally got it right over fences to record back-to-back wins in this contest for the owner, trainer and jockey following the success of Wishfull Thinking 12 months ago. It's been a frustrating first season over fences for this formerly smart hurdler who was expected to go to to the top over fences. He's been plagued by jumping issues throughout and again made a couple of mistakes but was much, much better than has been the case and this longer trip proved to be just the ticket. He could, however, make an immediate return to the minimum at Punchestown but next season, his future surely lies back up in trip though with Sprinter Sacre already the champion elect in the two mile division and Menorah could well get three miles in time as there's no shortage of stamina in his pedigree. Assuming he's just been a slow learner over fences, it should now be onwards and upwards for the son of King's Theatre who was certainly very impressive here but it may not pay to get carried away with the form of this victory. Al Ferof's owners has already talked about him as a Gold Cup contender but he was further behind the winner here than at Cheltenham. There should be a good deal of improvement to come from him once stepped up in trip while it's perfectly feasible that he was still feeling the effects, both here and last month, of the virus that affected a good number of Paul Nicholls' string earlier in the year. As such, he should be given the chance to redeem his reputation next season but others have jumped ahead of him in the pecking order. Cristal Bonus is also a difficult horse to weigh up having brought some smart form in France across the Channel and a reputation to match. He's looked very good against inferior opposition but has failed to cut the mustard when stepped up in grade. This run is right up there with anything that he's achieved on these shores, he's relatively few miles on the clock and may well prove capable of better yet. Pepite Rose brought a perfect record over fences into the race with her four victories having seen her mark rise from a modest 111 to 150 which was breathing down the shoulders of her more illustrious rivals. She certainly proved worthy of her rating with another fine run but was just found wanting in the closing stages. Alasi has successfully mixed hurdling and chasing this season although this was her first run over the larger obstacles since unseating in a race won by Menorah in January. She was always likely to struggle and didn't help herself by racing a shade keenly but posted a clear round to claim a share of the spoils.