Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.10,£2.10,£3.50
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£3.80 2&3:£10.70 1&3:£10.60
Jackpot: £86,890.81 carried forward to Cheltenham, 15th Mar
Placepot: £73.40, Pool: £937315.56, 9316.97 winning tickets
Quadpot: £18.70, Pool: £32395.49, 1281.41 winning tickets
A thrilling race and a very brave performance from BOBS WORTH who put in a season's best over fences, as did the runner-up First Lieutenant. Barry Geraghty knows the winner inside and out so it's probably a nice bit of hindsight to think that his recommendation of a breathing operation was always going to pay dividends. Here his mount jumped well in the main, although a little sticky at the second and then the water, and moved through to take up the lead at the fifth-last when Join Together made a shuddering mistake. Part of three in a line three out (including Grands Crus), he was still travelling powerfully and you always got the impression that Geraghty knew he had First Lieutenant covered even when the pair were level over the last fence. He powered home, exactly as he did in the Albert Bartlett last year, and has a bright future ahead of him. Mind you, the record of RSA winners isn't great, and you wouldn't snap up the quotes about him winning the Gold Cup just yet. First Lieutenant was very keen for the first mile or so, tanking along into a share of the lead. This was his best round of jumping since he took to fences, and the good ground seems essential to that, and it was only after the last obstacle that his exertions started to really tell. He likes Cheltenham and will surely head to Punchestown next, with something like the Ryanair next year looking ideal as a long-term target. Third home was Call The Police who seemed to get outpaced when the speed increased on the downhill run, but then ran on best of the rest to overhaul firstly Walkon and then Grands Crus. He's a solid yardstick, but the fact that Grands Crus couldn't beat him suggests that he has run miles below form. The latter had beaten Bobs Worth comfortably in the Feltham with some good jumping, and once again fenced nicely here. He moved through on the bridle to chase the leaders at the top of the hill but was a bit squeezed up three from home. As soon as he was asked to go and win his race however the response was negligible and he was a well-beaten horse before the last; jockey Tom Scudamore said he ran flat. There might be a case to say that he doesn't really stay up the hill, having faded a little behind the imperious Big Buck's last year, but the more likely reason may have something to do with a schooling mishap during his preparations. Walkon looked a bit of a player at the top of the hill but his exertions started to tell on the home turn, whilst Join Together tried to make the running but isn't quick enough and was soon left behind; he has now run a couple of poor races at the Festival.