Tote Win: £3.30 Tote Place: £1.80,1.90
Straight Forecast: £15.83 Exacta: £14.50
Jackpot: £89,153.33 carried forward to Ffos Las, 15th Apr, 0.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £132.30, Pool: £390706.72, 2155.79 winning tickets
Quadpot: £95.30, Pool: £18846.89, 146.25 winning tickets
OSCAR WHISKY had failed to last home in the World Hurdle, and according to his trainer had been a very tired horse afterwards, however he looked fresh and well here and indeed was too keen early in the race as Rock On Ruby, in the lack of a pace angle, set some steady fractions. Noticeably the winner's jumping was slicker here than it had been on previous starts this season and having tracked the leader throughout, he moved alongside turning for home. After mastering Rock On Ruby, who faded after the last, Oscar Whisky then had last-year's foe Thousand Stars to deal with. Both horses were fully stretched in the final 100 yards but Barry Geraghty always had a neck advantage and the winning distance was almost identical to last year. This trip suits the winner to a tee, and along with the Welsh Champion Hurdle, is sure to be on the agenda next year. These flat tracks seem to suit his jumping as well. Thousand Stars is gallant and always seems to give his running over a variety of trips, but he would have been better suited by a stronger pace; he lacked the turn of foot of the winner. Rock On Ruby ran very well considering he's not a natural front-runner. His jumping wasn't foot perfect, and there is still a slight question mark over this trip compared to a strongly-run two miles, but the Champion Hurdle winner looks one to follow next year assuming he tries to retain his crown. Third Intention was outclassed and left behind when the pace quickened turning in, whilst favourite Zarkandar took a crashing fall at the sixth hurdle which left his rider on the deck. Luckily the horse was ok. It's not the first time that he has had an issue with a hurdle, and given that Ruby Walsh was niggling a little on him with a circuit to go, he might just have found the going a bit too tough. His runs seem to give the appearance that he is being outpaced regardless of the speed of the race, and one just wonders whether this contributed to his tumble. He's got ability, but does look a little quirky.