Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££4.90,£3.30,£2.50
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£24.90 2&3:£8.00 1&3:£15.20
Jackpot: £74,164.61 carried forward to Cheltenham, 17th Mar
Placepot: £933.20, Pool: £918439.44, 718.42 winning tickets
Quadpot: £211.90, Pool: £38065.53, 132.92 winning tickets
Another terrific finish to a novice race, with BOSTONS ANGEL grinding out the win, to put a smile on trainer Jessica Harrington's race following a perhaps unfortunate loss for Oscars Well in the preceding race. A dour stayer, he was never too far off the pace, and following the fall of Quel Esprit at the 17th fence (when still going nicely in the lead) he was in pole position. Two solid jumps later, especially the last, and he always looked to be holding his rivals at bay. Skipping two lengths clear up the run-in, he then started to idle and it looked for a second like he would give Jessies Dream and the staying-on Wayward Prince a chance. However he picked up again close home and it was a fairly comfortable neck that he won by. He may not be the classiest, but his jumping is a real asset, and it would be no surprise to see him fill a place if trained for next-year's Gold Cup, especially if the ground were to come up soft. Jessies Dream was held up early on, but he crept into the race around the outside, perhaps partly because they weren't going quick enough for him. He looked a big threat turning in but he looked a tired horse after the last, and it was only because the winner was idling that he finished as close as he did, in all truth. Wayward Prince has a lovely attitude; he was under pressure a long way out but got into the race under Tony McCoy turning in and threatened to mug them all after the last. Ultimately the line came in time, but this fine individual is a credit to connections and had he run in the four mile race he would probably have given the winner a real race. Time For Rupert was very well-backed on course but he was never a player. Sticky at the first few fences, he proceeded to race lazily and jump poorly. To his credit he showed his class by trying to rally down the hill but come the last couple of fences he was a spent force. In retrospect this race came too soon in his career, as only having had two runs over fences (because of missing the Argento due to a bad scope) under his belt he was perhaps too inexperienced. To put it in perspective, the first three home had previously had five, six and three chase runs respectively under their belts prior to this race. Magnanimity didn't jump as well as he had earlier in the season, but having rallied coming to the last, he was ultimately only beaten a nose by the third home into fourth place. He and the winner had clashed last time and it's fair to say the form has worked out well. Master Of The Hall was one of three leading hopes after the fall of Quel Esprit, as he was travelling best of all, but like his run in the Dipper here earlier in the season, his challenge petered out up the hill. A flat track over this trip would appear to suit him best. Ruby Walsh had chosen Mikael D'Haguenet over Aiteen Thirtythree, to the surprise of some, and the race had yet to start in earnest when Willie Mullins' runner fell at the 14th fence. He'd jumped well until that point but it's his fencing that continues to prove his downfall. Aiteen Thirtythree was faced with his biggest challenge here and he didn't jump with any alacrity or accuracy after being taken on for the lead by Elysian Rock. The latter fell after making a fair amount of the running, The Giant Bolster unseated his rider early in the race after some sticky leaps, whilst Wymott jumped woefully in first-time cheek-pieces. He was surprisingly held up and seemed to hate the whole occasion. As a further footnote to the performance of Time For Rupert, Paul Webber reported that the horse had bled during the race.