Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££2.80,£2.20,£7.60
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£6.30 2&3:£41.40 1&3:£32.40
Jackpot: £24,519.12 carried forward to Plumpton, 2nd Jan
Placepot: £156.20, Pool: £194585.1, 909.03 winning tickets
Quadpot: £27.00, Pool: £16151.34, 442.5 winning tickets
A thrilling conclusion to a competitive, if not totally top-class, feature handicap. TARTAK looked to be struggling slightly coming down the hill, having to be scrubbed along by Paddy Brennan. However he responded well to sustained encouragement and came into the final couple of fences with momentum behind him. Although he still had several lengths to find with Carole's Legacy, I'msingingtheblues and Mahogany Blaze at the last, he stayed on strongest of all to pick up Nicky Henderson's mare near the line. The winner's price for the Ryanair was cut accordingly, but whilst he looks to be creeping into that picture, the feeling is that last-year's Grand Annual fifth needs to improve by a few more pounds yet to win it. The runner-up is a grand mare; big, adaptable and resilient, she was losing a bit of ground at each fence but she battled back to see off all but the latest of late challengers. She'll be back in the winners' enclosure soon, especially if back in against the girls. Mahogany Blaze will have his day in the sun, and he looked like getting it here when jumping to the front, however he started to hang right a bit under pressure late on and his finishing effort petered out slightly. That comment can also be applied to I'msingingtheblues, He travelled supremely well and to many eyes looked the likeliest winner on the downhill run before the second-last fence but his stamina quickly gave way up the Cheltenham hill and he needed the far-side rail to stabilise his run in the closing stages. He'll pick up one of these races, but on this evidence it will be back over two miles. Elsewhere Five Dream ruined his chance with several halting leaps, whilst Pickamus departed at the 11th fence having previously jumped well from the front. Taranis, whose jockey Nick Scholfield steered on a wide course throughout, held every chance turning in but he was a tired horse when falling at the second-last fence. Last-year's winner Can't Buy Time also had a chance on the downhill run but he was a bit sloppy at the second-last fence, whilst Door Boy was another to get tired late on but ran with much more promise. Old Timer Mister McGoldrick needs a mention, finishing sixth on his 14th birthday; he'll still be a force when back in veterans' races.