Tote Win: £2.20
Straight Forecast: £4.62 Exacta: £3.70 Trifecta: £6.00
Jackpot: £15,492.18 carried forward to Leopardstown, 9th Feb, 0.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £48.10, Pool: £200572.31, 3041.56 winning tickets
Quadpot: £27.30, Pool: £11156.13, 301.95 winning tickets
No superstars in this line-up but an intriguing race nonetheless with the promising novice Dodging Bullets pitched in to open company where he faced the well-regarded MODULE. The latter came up short in a competitive Peterborough Chase last time but this was less competitive, he was best in at the weights and proven under conditions; he was heavily supported to take full advantage and duly did so. It was hard work at the end but he showed a determined attitude to see off his rival as his stamina won the day to gain a deserved first success of the season. If he is to head to Cheltenham, then the Ryanair would appear to be the obvious race and he was far from disgraced in what is now the JLT last season but the possibility of a stronger pace and faster ground will provide a stern examination of his fencing. Dodging Bullets lost the race but enhanced his reputation having travelled strongly and found plenty on the most testing ground that he has encountered and there was no disgrace in this defeat to a decent rival to whom he was conceding weight. It's full steam ahead for the Arkle and he must go there with leading claims after this performance. Raya Star was five lengths behind Dodging Bullets off levels in November at Cheltenham and ran another solid race without threatening the front two. He handles these conditions but is thought to be at his best when able to chase a fast pace on better ground and the acid test for his chasing career will be when presented with that opportunity. His chase mark coming into the race was 10lbs below his highest hurdle mark which suggests that there could be some scope for him in handicap company and he would have to come under consideration if heading to the Grand Annual. Desert Cry went close at Sandown the previous Saturday and may have left his race in Esher but he completed and picked up a share of the prize money for his connections.