Tote Win: £6.50 Tote Place: £2.90,1.80
Straight Forecast: £14.71 Exacta: £16.30 Trifecta: £138.80 Swingers: 1&2:3.00 2&3:1.70 1&3:4.70
Jackpot: £28,895.72 carried forward to Leopardstown, 26th Jan
Placepot: £727.90, Pool: £261034.02, 261.77 winning tickets
Quadpot: £71.10, Pool: £16896.31, 175.73 winning tickets
A Gold Cup trial in name only with live contenders thin on the ground although victory for THE GIANT BOLSTER is likely to ensure that he will head for a third crack at the blue riband contest although he will do well to improve on his previous second and fourth place finishes. He had struggled all season but a new combination of headgear and a return to a track (the New Course as opposed to the Old) where he has shown excellent form helped to bring about a return to form. He still showed a tendency to make the odd mistake but there was no faulting his attitude as he stayed on strongly when others had cried enough and looks capable of vying for minor honours in six weeks time. Rocky Creek could have put himself in line for a tilt at the Gold Cup with a good run but it wouldn't surprise if connections now opted to wait for the Grand National. His trainer subsequently opined that the eight year old needed the run after suffering from a minor bout of colic which is worth bearing in mind but it was slightly alarming how quickly he began to paddle on the hill. This was almost the most testing ground that he has encountered to date and he may just have found it too much; he had certainly done plenty right until the hill and remains a promising young stayer but it does remain to be seen whether he can prove effective in handicaps from his revised mark (after the Hennessy) or make the jump up into graded conditions races. Harry Topper appreciated the return to racing on a testing surface but he couldn't get away with the lack of fluency in his fencing against this quality of opposition. He, too, remains a decent staying prospect but he will need to put in some remedial work on his jumping if he's to fulfil all of his potential. Houblon Des Obeaux ran well for a long way but doesn't appear to be quite as effective at this track as he does at Ascot; this was a perfectly respectable run nonetheless albeit one that appears to have gone a long way to confirming his limitations. Restless Harry had bounced back to form at Newbury from a rating of just 122 and fared as well as could have been expected. Champion Court also went well for a long way on ground that wouldn't have been ideal but, not for the first time, his suspect stamina gave out but he did enough to suggest that he should again be competitive in the Ryanair Chase over what appears to be his optimum trip.