Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.60,£3.60,£2.40
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£10.60 2&3:£19.30 1&3:£3.50
Jackpot: £3,033.90, Pool: £14956.06, 3.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £43.90, Pool: £225954.6, 3753.16 winning tickets
Quadpot: £14.60, Pool: £15397.45, 779.7 winning tickets
A very high quality renewal of the Relkeel Hurdle with a stellar cast in opposition and KARABAK managed to get his head infront for the first time in a couple of seasons.
Alan King's charge has been taking on top opposition but this 2m5f seemed an ideal trip under an end-to-end gallop and having raced in touch, Tony McCoy brought him to deliver his challenge with two to jump and he was able to fend off the late and persistent threat of the second. Alan King revealed that he had wanted to run him in the Long Run hurdle but the owner's decision to run at Cheltenham proved a correct one. A return for the Cleeve Hurdle and then a tilt at the World Hurdle appears the likely programme ahead.
Any Given Day had his chance to win this and his passage into the closing duel was remarkable. Held up in the early stages, he made a number of mistakes and having sat a fair way off the pace, he rattled up the hill from an unpromising position to challenge the winner and force his head infront after the last. He could not repel the final thrust of the winner though he was well clear of the third.
Celestial Halo was entitled to run well on his return from an abortive chasing campaign. He travelled as well as anything though didn't finish his race when push came to shove. Zaynar looked to have been lit up by the first time blinkers. He held every chance at the eighth but paid the penalty for racing too keenly. The excuses are now beginning to run thin. Ashkazar ran a bizarre race to be fifth. Shoved along throughout the contest, he threatened to stop in the early stages before consenting to plug on at the death. Kayf Aramis found things happening a little too quickly and will be better once returned to handicaps. Sentry Duty was easy to back beforehand and one presumes he will come on for this effort.