Tote Win: £2.80 Tote Place: £2.10,2.80
Straight Forecast: £17.44 Exacta: £20.00 Trifecta: £122.30 Swingers: 1&2:2.30 2&3:8.20 1&3:7.30
Placepot: £85.20, Pool: £158176.44, 1354.46 winning tickets
Quadpot: £12.60, Pool: £13489.76, 787.65 winning tickets
A strong renewal of this race despite the late absence of the well-regarded Racing Pulse although the form is open to question with a heavy downpour turning the ground extremely testing. Timesremembered, a decent yardstick, and the progressive Sausalito Sunrise patently failed to handle the conditions and both remain promising young stayers to note assuming that a hard race on this ground hasn't left a mark. They didn't have as hard a time as the first two home with URBAN HYMN getting the better of a prolonged duel with Blakemount despite fluffing his lines slightly at the last two hurdles. Given a positive ride on this first run over three miles, he clearly relished the longer trip and the testing ground and looks a very smart prospect, something which his trainer has always believed. Jefferson has already suggested that he wouldn't be overfaced this season with his future lying over fences but he will be given options at Cheltenham plans affected by plans for the same connections' Oscar Rock. This was a big step up from Blakemount who was one of the more experienced runners in the field with four hurdle starts under his belt. Stamina is clearly his forte as he had shown improved form to finish a close-up third behind Ballyalton and Oscar Rock on good ground over two miles six before winning for the second time on a more testing surface over the same C&D. He looks capable of winning again in this sphere before being sent over fences next term where he has the pedigree and scope to develop into a useful staying novice. Warden Hill had done all of his racing on better ground but coped with the conditions to run a fair race and he should be competitive in a staying handicap hurdle from his current mark. Aerial has failed to convince more often than not in recent seasons and this was disappointing although the ground may have been a contributing factor. This was a big step up in class for Walk On Al who improved on the form of his Southwell success and is another who should be able to make his mark in handicap company.