Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££4.10,£2.10,£2.50
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£20.50 2&3:£47.60 1&3:£11.90
Placepot: £850.00, Pool: £109336.74, 93.89 winning tickets
Quadpot: £77.70, Pool: £10001.99, 95.2 winning tickets
An interesting handicap, with most of the field likely to head to the Cheltenham Festival for one race or another, indeed the race almost had the feel of a Grand Annual trial about it. Winner CORNAS was never too far off the pace and part of a bunch of half a dozen runners who had gone clear, he struck for home as they turned in and never really looked like finishing anywhere else but in first. Although his two most recent runs looked modest, it was still a surprise to see him returned at 14-1. He was racing off 148 here and may find life tougher in future as the handicapper will shunt him back into the mid 150's after this performance. Tchico Polos deserves plenty of credit as he was one of three horses who forced the early pace, and given the way that Fiendish Flame and French Opera dropped away, his performance looks even more meritorious. He ran around a bit late on in the race, including just before his fences, but it was another likeable performance from a reliable yardstick especially having fallen in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November. Oh Crick, along with Riguez Dancer, started to creep into the race at the railway fences and both looked destined to play a major hand in the finish. However whilst the latter dropped away into fourth, Oh Crick finished his race with more momentum and was never nearer than at the line; this was a much better performance and he is the sort of horse to blossom around the spring. Leo's Lucky Star was another who travelled into the race well but he was fairly readily left behind when the race started to hot up, whilst French Opera stopped very quickly. He has had problems with lameness in the past and he dropped away as if something was amiss here. I'msingingtheblues ran as if this was one quick race too many, whilst Free World made several jumping errors and was one of the first beaten. Fiendish Flame helped force the early pace but he needs was another to drop away tamely; this was not his true running.