Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££3.10,£2.30
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£3.30 2&3:£2.60 1&3:£2.80
Jackpot: £24,106.92 carried forward to Southwell, 2nd Jan
Placepot: £1,125.10, Pool: £166821.8, 108.23 winning tickets
Quadpot: £94.40, Pool: £14709.13, 115.3 winning tickets
A very tidy performance from CHAMPION COURT who jumped from fence to fence and saw off a very useful runner-up in Solix, albeit receiving weight from that runner. Trainer Martin Keighley and jockey Alan Cawley obviously had a plan, and it worked to perfection as the horse was sent into an early lead, was presented well at each fence and had several of his rivals in trouble before the downhill run. Whilst Invictus and Solix tried to keep tabs on him, Cawley was able to keep the momentum going to the final fence where he saw another good stride and, despite hanging slightly up the run-in, was comfortably on top at the line. He had looked to have a little to find on the formbook this year, so it might not be worth getting too carried away but if he is able to dominate again then he won't be an easy horse to peg back, whether that's in the Jewson or a handicap. Runner-up Solix is learning with each chase start and lost little caste in defeat, as he was giving 3lb to the winner. He jumped quite smartly here, and seems to be getting the hang of fencing, especially impressive when asked for a big jump by Barry Geraghty. He was certainly close enough turning in, but couldn't quite overhaul the winner. He was clear of the third, and looks an obvious Jewson contender as his fencing might be put under too much strain in a race like the Arkle. Invictus was keen enough early on and that probably paid late in the day as he weakened quite quickly up the hill. Aintree may suit him better than Cheltenham, although it's too early too say that for sure. The disappointment of the race was Sonofvic who was made to look slow and pedestrian, both on the flat and over his fences. He's really a three miler who seems like he wants a flattish track so there were several points against him; he's worth another chance under more suitable conditions. A credit note goes to Ruby Walsh who kept the partnership intact when almost unseated after the fourth-last fence. It was at that obstacle that Saint Are's chance went as he made a real hash of it, whilst Sybarite was out-classed throughout.