Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££2.60,£2.50,£3.70
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£6.70 2&3:£13.80 1&3:£17.90
Jackpot: £142,083.50, Pool: £200117.69, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot: £60.60, Pool: £970517.56, 11686.68 winning tickets
Quadpot: £9.30, Pool: £40783.77, 3221.34 winning tickets
A really battling performance from SIZING AUSTRALIA, who had been hampered in the previous year's renewal before finishing 11th. Here he was always close to the pace set by Lord Nellerie, and he jumped to the front at the water. Whilst the field closed up in behind, Andrew Lynch tried to kick him away but to be truthful, the writing looked on the wall before the (eventual) turn for home. Maljimar had quietly worked his way into the race, and under Daryl Jacob he cruised through to dispute the lead. Both horses jumped the final obstacle well, but Sizing Australia found more for pressure after the last and always looked to be holding Maljimar. Mind you, he had other rivals to contend with up the hill, including old-timer Garde Champetre. Despite a bad mistake early on, he worked his way into it and was staying on all the way to the line. The years may be catching up with him a tad, but he's as brave as a lion and Nina Carberry got another fine tune out of him late in the day. Maljimar's finishing effort was not as strong, with the Cheltenham hill finding him out, and not for the first time in his career. The ground was on his side, but several mistakes probably took some of the wind out of his sails early on, and despite cantering all over the winner turning in there was always a suspicion that his finishing effort might be all bark and no bite. Fourth home was last-year's winner A New Story, who ambled along nicely just behind the leaders for a long way but he was just found out for a turn of foot late on, with the ground probably quicker than he'd have liked. Fifth home, and not exactly beaten about, was the French raider Quezac De La Roque. David Cottin steered him round the track well but his finishing effort perhaps wasn't the strongest; the pairing were only beaten by around three lengths at the line. Poker De Sivola, a winner at last-year's Festival, didn't seem to enjoy this quirky assignment. He was held up in the early stages (right next to Maljimar) as he appeared to race mulishly, and he never seemed to get to grips with the different types of obstacles. To his credit he showed his class by running on well to the line for a never nearer sixth, but it was certainly an un-threatening one. Freneys Well was prominent for a fair way but he didn't meet every obstacle on a good stride and drifted back through the pack before the race started to hot up. This wasn't a good race for owner JP McManus, with L'Ami pulled-up before the water and Quolibet following suit soon after. Another Jewell ran alright in seventh after getting hampered at the fifth obstacle, whilst Dream Alliance and Gullible Gordon never got competitive. A more conventional test for the latter may be the order of the day next time.