Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.60,£1.80,£1.40
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£3.30 2&3:£1.40 1&3:£2.90
Jackpot: £3,934.33 carried forward to Taunton, 30th Dec, 0.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £74.60, Pool: £108288.43, 1058.58 winning tickets
Quadpot: £54.10, Pool: £5376.05, 73.44 winning tickets
The reduced visibility meant that little of the race was visible but BACKSPIN ran out a most authoritative winner to follow in the footsteps of Reve De Sivola, Diamond Harry and Denman to name but three of the recent winners. Now with Jonjo O'Neill, the gelding had changed hands after an impressive win from Nicene Creed (now with Philip Hobbs) in a Fairyhouse bumper in April. He had made his debut at Bangor in a novice hurdle which had a rich history having been won by Peddlers Cross last season and the likes of Whiteoak, My Way De Solzen and Garde Champetre prior to that. He went a long way to following in their footsteps by brushing aside a competitive field in this prestigious contest. His trainer reported that he didn't show a great deal at home and that coming for a championship race involved 'guessing a bit' and he was unable to shed any light on future plans other than that he would have one more run for experience before Cheltenham but it would be a surprise to see him in anything other than the Neptune Novices' Hurdle at the Festival. More guesswork is involved with a number of the runners' preparations affected by the cold spell that has decimated the fixture list. Runner-up Court In Motion was amongst those but he is held in high regard by Emma Lavelle and will have done nothing to dispel those thoughts with this performance; doing best of those that were held up from off the pace. Al Ferof, runner-up in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, had had a nasty experience on his hurdling bow at Prestbury Park when taking a heavy fall so connections will be delighted with his clear round on this occasion. He also challenged from off the pace only for his run to flatten out close home but he's entitled to derive considerable benefit from this experience but time is running out a little to get him ready for March. For Non Stop represented last year's successful stable and was made favourite having dotted up in a Chepstow handicap on debut for Nick Williams before chasing home the much improved Grands Crus. It remains to be seen whether he can hold his own at this level but he was another reported to have missed some work. Tullyraine had looked a resolute galloper over three miles at Worcester and Towcester so was always likely to struggle dropped in trip on this steep rise in grade but was far from disgraced in finishing on the heels of Al Ferof and For Non Stop. He should be able to make his presence felt granted a stiffer test when dropping back a level whilst it would be no surprise to see him jump a fence sooner rather than later as he has plenty of experience between the flags in Ireland.