Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££2.40,£1.40,£2.10
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£3.80 2&3:£4.70 1&3:£11.20
Placepot: £19.80, Pool: £95410.68, 3506.18 winning tickets
Quadpot: £10.90, Pool: £5461.82, 370.8 winning tickets
A decent renewal of this Grade 2 contest featuring two of the last three winners with Deep Purple attempting to complete a hat-trick for Evan Williams following his success last year and that of State Of Play in 2008. Ollie Magern, a dual winner of the race and placed the last two years, adopted his customary front-running role with Sam Thomas and NACARAT content to get a tow in second and they raced clear of The Tother One who raced more prominently than usual in a share of third with Deep Purple. Knockara Beau enjoyed a decent season as a novice, with his fourth in the RSA Chase the highlight, but never looked happy on his seasonal return and was pulled up before the field had completed a circuit. The order remained more or less unchanged as the field headed out onto the second circuit although Ruby Walsh had already had cause to shake the reigns at The Tother One to encourage him to grab hold of the bit. Nacarat jumped into a share of the lead with Ollie Magern as they jumped the first on the far side, followed by The Tother One with Calgary Bay, Deep Purple and Barbers Shop all seemingly travelling well. The race quickly changed complexion though as the front-runners turned the screw with Barbers Shop the first to come under pressure; Ruby Walsh looked increasingly anxious and Deep Purple became outpaced. Calgary Bay found very little round the turn from home as Nacarat travelled best, still in a share of the lead. Sam Thomas asked him to go on once they turned into the straight and the result never looked in doubt despite an awkward leap by the grey at the third last. Tom George believes that he'll come on for the run and will have a look at the Betfair Chase before having another crack at the King George in which he ran so well last year but good ground is essential to his chances. The Tother One deserves credit for keeping on for second despite having never raced with any enthusiasm on the second circuit but he could be hard to place as will Ollie Magern, Barbers Shop and Calgary Bay. Deep Purple finished with a rare rattle to claim third near the line having seemingly got a second wind; that was by no means a bad performance under a penalty on the face of it but it was a strange run as one would have expected him to have been straight enough for his attempt to retain his crown. He may well head to Huntingdon next for the Peterborough Chase, a race that he also took last season.