Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££2.60,£2.40
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£4.20 2&3:£2.60 1&3:£1.50
Jackpot: £50,000.00, Pool: £29101.45, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot: £1,295.00, Pool: £292330.94, 164.78 winning tickets
Quadpot: £246.90, Pool: £18802.25, 56.35 winning tickets
Most eyes were on Restless Harry who had scored a wide-margin victory over some useful hurdlers at Wetherby on his reappearance and is expected to take high-rank over fences. On another day, however, people could easily have been talking about the chase debut of another promising novice from Ditcheat and it was JOIN TOGETHER who prevailed in an exciting finish to complete a treble on the day for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh. A useful staying novice hurdler who showed his best form in deep winter ground before pulling up in the Albert Bartlett, he had fallen on his chase bow at Chepstow when holding every chance and his jumping was still far from foot-perfect but connections will have been delighted to see him jump round. Stamina certainly appears to be his forte and it's doubtful whether he has the speed to challenge the best in this sphere but it's not difficult to envisage him developing into a decent handicap chaser with the Welsh National an obvious long-term objective. Teaforthree would probably have finished further behind the winner at Chepstow had he stood up than he did here so looks to have improved from that introduction to chasing and can certainly win races in this sphere when granted a test. It's not hard to take a shine to Restless Harry whose jumping was adequate on this chase debut. He looked in trouble from a long way out and highly unlikely to finish as close as he did but he refused to accept defeat and kept trying all the way to the line. He could be just the type to run a big race in the RSA Chase which will undoubtedly be his long-term target if everything goes according to plan although there is the possibility that he could meet Grands Crus in that race and, for all his obvious qualities, he lacks the class and the gears of the grey. Nigel Twiston-Davies had been keen on the chances of Viking Blond providing him with a fourth win in this race in nine years and it looked for much of the race as though his six year old would oblige with a bold round of jumping under a typically positive ride. He ran out of steam on the hill but there was no disgrace in that and he comes out as just about the best horse at the weights having given all of those in front of him 5lbs. He won a couple of hurdles at Chepstow in heavy ground so is another that could easily be seen lining up in the Welsh National in time and his trainer isn't afraid to run his novices in big handicaps and it wouldn't entirely surprise to see him take his chance this season. Tim Vaughan has high hopes for Grade One winning hurdler Saint Are who had run encouragingly behind Champion Court at Aintree but this was a shade disappointing with the step up to three miles expected to suit. He travelled well enough until making a mistake at the top of the hill but came off the bridle thereafter and finished a tired horse. He's only five and, if connections decide that he needs a little more time, has the option of reverting to hurdling where there may still be a little mileage in his handicap mark.