Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.80,£14.00,£1.30
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£66.60 2&3:£24.50 1&3:£3.20
Jackpot: £76,027.09 carried forward to Uttoxeter, 17th Mar
Placepot: £627.40, Pool: £1016468.06, 1182.5 winning tickets
Quadpot: £12.80, Pool: £49090.56, 2832.38 winning tickets
The anticipated match failed to materialise with SYNCHRONISED upstaging his more illustrious rivals but this was far from a shock result. Kauto Star was presumably still suffering from the effects of his well-publicised schooling fall which was a great shame for all those involved with the marvellous 12 year old. Ruby Walsh reported that he wasn't stretching out as normal and was quick to act. That appeared to leave the way clear for Long Run to regain his crown but the seven year old hadn't convinced this term and failed to run up to last season's form. He didn't have that easy a passage on the inside and his jumping continues to lack fluency despite intensive schooling (it's an irrelevant argument as he's Sam Waley-Cohen's mount but he does look as though he would benefit from the assistance of a stronger jockey to make his mind up for him at his fences) but he was close enough if good enough although it's hard to believe that the horse that we saw last year would have been re-passed by The Giant Bolster up the hill. He is only seven years of age but Nicky Henderson and his team now have the task of trying to get him back to where he was and that could be no easy task. This was always likely to be run at a good pace with plenty of front-runners in the field and that proved to be the case which certainly helped the cause of Synchronised as the dual Welsh National winner has stamina in abundance and was always likely to play his cards late in the day. He's not the biggest and struggled at a few of his fences but he's plucky and fairly sprinted away from his rivals having jumped the last much as he had when making a successful step to graded company in the Lexus. This was only the ninth chase start of his career and one would like to think that he will be able to return to defend his crown in the same form. They say no one remembers who finished second but David Bridgwater will be a very proud man after his stable star (from only a small string) The Giant Bolster delivered on their expecations and more in running the race of his life and his whole team deserve huge credit for their handling of the horse this season and it's to be hoped that they get more firepower as a result. Plagued by jumping problems early in the campaign, jumping guru Yogi Breisner has been a regular visitor and the dividends were first reaped when the seven year old routed a good field of handicappers in January. He was firmly put in his place by Long Run in the Denman Chase but comprehensively reversed that form and proved his stamina for this trip. He has the speed to drop back in distance but in the short-term would be an exciting ride in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree which is a possible target for both Long Run and Burton Port. There were concerns that the latter would bounce after his pleasing return in the Denman but he ran a fine race, just not quite getting up the hill as well as the other principals - he is in the Grand National and connections may be tempted to chance their arm but he's now had two quick runs after a long lay-off. Time For Rupert ran his best race of the season and jumped far better than he had done earlier in the campaign, the result of intensive schooling at speed and he may be able to build on this next year. Knockara Beau ran as well as could have been expected but Midnight Chase was a shade disappointing and was probably just found out at this level having always been pestered for the lead. Fragile pair Weird Al and Diamond Harry both attracted support but neither ever looked remotely likely to get involved; the former was reported to have bled from the nose while the latter has now disappointed on all three chase runs here and has been talked of as an autumn horse. China Rock raced well for a long way as he continued his comeback from injury but failed to get home having raced a shade keenly, a drop in trip may suit. The Midnight Club was always likely to struggle but should be spot on for the National.