This is the feature raceday at Warwick in the season and the ITV cameras are there to catch all the action. I’m lucky enough to be attending with my family so keep an eye out on mine and Rein It In Racing’s twitter pages for photos!
12:40 Join Racing TV Now Novices Handicap Hurdle
Milanstorm and Twycross Warrior are the only horses to have won under national hunt rules. The former won over course and distance in a bumper in March and that is his sole victory. Since then, he’s been beaten a long way every time. Twycross Warrior won by fourteen lengths in May and has ran twice since, placing third and fourth. He’s risen in the handicap quite a bit. Elton Des Mottes and Made For You haven’t been seen for more than 200 days. The former has ran five times and he’s been well-beaten on all occasions. His closest finish was on debut. Made For You has ran four times. Last seen in June, he was third but he’s had a breathing operation since. Bathiva has been running consistently without winning and is making his handicap debut but the mark looks high. Bard Of Brittany ran a very good race at 40/1 last time to be second behind a decent rival.
The two likely winners are Motashakel and Manor Park. The former won over seven furlongs on the flat for Kevin Prendergast and Hamdan Al Maktoum before moving to the Evan Williams Yard. He was beaten eighteen lengths on his hurdles bow and then four lengths by subsequent grade one winner Allmankind. This is an easier task and I think MANOR PARK can take advantage of that. The owners had a winner on this card last year with Keeper Hill in the Pertemps Qualifier. He’s ran fourteen times in his life and won once on the flat. He was running well last time out until getting tired and can go better here. Magalodon pulled up in two of his last three races and Bonjour Steve was ninth on the flat four days ago. Easkey Lad and Secret Bari are outsiders.
13:15 Project Management Services Oxford Ltd Edward Courage Cup (Handicap Chase)
There are an impressive three course and distance winners in the line-up – that’s half the field. Master Work was second to Hatcher on his penultimate start and then second last time out to Caid Du Lin. His win here came over hurdles and on good ground so connections will be hoping the ground dries out a bit. Ashoka completed a double in the summer but got well-beaten at Newbury at the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting and pulled up last time out behind subsequent winner Locker Room Talk. He will need to improve. ROUGH NIGHT won over course and distance thirty days ago by eleven lengths and he got put up 7lbs for that. He’d ran a good race on chase debut, coming fourth with Locker Room Talk in third (twenty three lengths ahead). He’s got a good chance. Joke Dancer fell at the last on chasing debut but that didn’t seem to sent his confidence because he went out and won in lovely style next time. Luckofthedraw won well in September but was well beaten on his next two outings. The winner of his last start has subsequently won very nicely. Geneva Barracks was 100/1 on Chase debut and made some errors.
13:50 McCoy Contractors 2020 Construction News-Awards Finalist Hampton Novices Chase (Grade 2)
This has been won by Ms Parfois and OK Corral in the past two years and they went on to run in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. Some of these may follow that route too. Hold The Note won over hurdles at Doncaster in December 2018 and he’s had two starts over hurdles over fences, coming third and then pulling up behind Commanche Red. Roll Again fell that day and he used to be with Willie Mullins and could be up near the pace. Whatmore has won over this course before (over one mile shorter). He’s ran twice – third to Deyrann de Carjac and fourth to Dashel Drasher. Two For Gold and Zara Hope have won their last two races. The former won at Carlisle, running prominently, and then he made all when going all out over this trip. He’s lightly-raced from a masterful trainer. Zara Hope won a handicap chase by six lengths on her first of two starts in December. Next time, she absolutely hacked up in a mares chase at Cheltenham, making all. That was by eighteen lengths and she won over this trip before. Likely to be up with the pace, she gets 3lbs from the boys but is rated a long way inferior.
Highest Sun has Robbie Power on board. He followed in Champ and Pym before winning on heavy ground at Plumpton. That was a two runner affair and he seems a quirky sort. This is a step up in class. ARDLETHEN followed in Champ in a grade one last season and made a good start to chasing when winning at Chepstow. He came second to Sam Spinner, who is sadly out injured, and then, last time out, he ran in a three runner grade two and was last of the three. However, that was behind Danny Whizzbang and Reserve Tank. This is quite a weak renewal but he gets my vote.
14:25 Ballymore Leamington Novices Hurdle (Grade 2)
We have a royal runner in this grade two event. Roll On runs for Her Majesty, Nicky Henderson and James Bowen. This six year old has had a good start to his career. He came second on debut and then he won beating Protektorat, who was involved in a controversial stewards enquiry, by a head. Next time, he won by over three lengths and is stepping up in grade. The oldest runner is Decor Irlandais. He’s rated 10lbs higher than any other rival and won at Catterick last time and that was his third win under jumps rules. Mossy Fen is only five and won on his first two starts over two miles seven and two miles four. He was left on one pace in a similar grade two over three miles. This is a drop back to a more appropriate trip. SHAN BLUE ran in a very good bumper at this track when Chantry House won and Edwardstone came second. He followed in Redford Road before a fall when going well. The local horse got off the mark last time and he’s the joint second highest rated. He was a really cheap buy at €13,000 but had won a point previously. Harry Senior seems to be a well-regarded horse but it took him a while to win. On his penultimate start, he followed in the smart Edwardstone and won by five lengths last time out. He goes for the powerful combination of Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power. Whatsupwithyou ran well in points before getting off the mark at the first attempt at Ascot in good fashion. He’s the unknown quantity.
15:00 McCoy Contractor Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
This is the feature contest of the day. This race is over three miles and five furlongs and it is a grade three.
There are two previous winners in the lineup. Impulsive Star put in a really gutsy performance to win this in 2019. He got headed at one point but manged to win by three and a quarter lengths off a mark of 133. He pulled up in the NH Chase behind Le Breuil, Scottish Grand National, behind Crosspark, and, on reappearance, he pulled up in a grade three around Cheltenham. Despite this poor run of form, he’s still 4lbs higher than last year. Blinkered for the first time.
Milansbar won this by eleven lengths, making the running, in 2018, and he pulled up the year before. Since the win, he’s not won but he was second in the Midlands National and fifth in the Grand National in the same year. He’s not shown much since and he pulled up on Thursday at Catterick over this trip. He’s 4lbs lower than his last winning mark and Sam Twiston-Davies rides.
Crosspark was behind both of these horses in the past two renewals. Since last year, he’s won the Eider, beating Mysteree a neck, and come second in the Scottish National. It was a bit disappointing when he pulled up in behind The Conditional in October and was eighth last time. He prefers better ground but thoroughly stats this trip and he always has a good chance in these kinds of races.
Le Breuil won the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. It was a really tough race and he proved that he stayed four miles plus. He’s currently 33/1 for the Grand National and ran over hurdles on seasonal debut in a grade two but he pulled up very early into the contest. Next time, he came seventh in the Becher Chase and that was an improved run but he got beat twenty lengths, following in Kimberlite Candy and finishing ahead of Mysteree, who pulled up. Kimberlite Candy only went down two lengths to the smart Walk In The Mill. This horse has a good record, with five wins, but was fifth to Crosspark and Mysteree in the Eider. After that, he pulled up in the Irish National over this trip. Regardless, I think he stays this trip. Before the Becher, I said Mysteree could have long term Grand National aspirations but he disappointingly pulled up. He won over three miles two on seasonal reappearance. That was his first win in a while and he stays well.
Rocky’s Treasure ran on this card last year, getting beaten fourteen lengths by OK Corral in the Hampton Novices Chase. After that, he was fifth and second in class twos. On reappearance, he pulled up behind The Conditional at Cheltenham and again over two miles six at Newbury. This trip is a worry as he’s only won over three miles. Captain Chaos also pulled up behind The Conditional. He ran in the Rehearsal Chase next time and was fast finishing to get beaten less than a length. Last time, he pulled up in the Welsh National but the ground could’ve gone against him.
The Conditional used to be in training with Martin Hassett in Ireland and followed in the likes of Arkle winner Duc De Genivres and Pairofbrowneyes. He moved to the David Bridgewater yard and had his first run for them when finishing third in September. He won impressively at Cheltenham in a class two over three miles and a furlong. In doing so, he blundered at the second last but got back up on the flat. He was put up 6lbs and ran in the Ladbrokes Trophy under Brendan Powell. He hit the last fence, which dented his finishing challenge, and eventually couldn’t handle De Rasher Counter. Both of these horses have gained themselves Gold Cup entries. The Conditional also has Grand National aspirations, despite still being classed a novice. The yard definitely think a lot of him and he’s not yet reached his ceiling. He’s 50/1 for the Grand National and 100/1 for the Gold Cup.
Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power have become a excellent combination and they have the seven year old Darlac. This gelding has won just the once in eleven starts, which was his second lifetime start. He’s ran four times this season, placing twice. At 10/1, I may be missing something but he seems like a short price. The jockey booking is probably what has influenced this. Bobo Mac has ran this season. The first of which was a win over three miles and a furlong and the second was a win over two miles seven. He’s won here before and he’s in good form.
Petite Power runs for the in-form Fergal O’Brien and amateur Liam Harrison. This eleven year old made a winning reappearance after a 516 day break at Cheltenham in an amateur jockeys’ race. He backed that up next time out over three miles two at Uttoxeter. Last time, he only went down a neck to a horse who was carrying 10lbs less. He’s gone from 115 to 131 and, despite his age, he could run well. Head To The Stars was third on reappearance but fell at the first fence next time in behind Bobo Mac. He was a decent second last time but he has a bit to find with some of these.
Bottom weight is Goodnight Charlie with Page Fuller on board. Three starts ago, he was third in a four runner event behind Petite Power. He was well-beaten next time and then he pulled up behind Copperhead at Newbury. Interestingly, he seems to love this part of the world. He’s a course and distance winner and has won twice more at this track. He also won a couple of times at the recently closed Towcester. As the outsider of the party, he may run a decent race. Last to mention is Joeur Bresilien. He won by twelve lengths over two miles five under his pilot Jack Tudor, who tasted big-race glory in the Scottish National, but stamina is the worry.
In conclusion, I’m going for THE CONDITIONAL. I was very impressed with his last two runs and he’s a horse with a big future. Kimberlite Candy is threatening him for favouritism and Petite Power could go well at a good price. Goodnight Charlie loves it round this track.
15:35 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle
Sire Du Berlais and Its All Guesswork came over from the Gordon Elliot yard. The former won the final of this race in March last year and comes here to qualify. Since then, he’s been well beaten but he’s a good horse and I’m sure he could qualify in this race. Its All Guesswork was last seen pulled up in the Kim Muir and he’s been in the top three in ten of his starts. Silver Sheen comes over from Jessica Harrington stable. He won his maiden at Wexford and then beat some decent horses in a ‘rated’ novices hurdle. He’s quite lightly-raced.
Henry Daly has two – STONEY MOUNTAIN and Flashjack. The latter is 10 and won at Haydock last time, beating an odds-on favourite. Stoney Mountain seems well thought of. He’s won the Two races that Paisley Park did at the beginning of the season on his way to Stayers Glory. One was at Aintree and the other way at Haydock when he showed a great finishing kick. Last time, they tried him over fences and he unshipped Richard Johnson. He’s more comfortable over hurdles at the minute and, if he wins this well, I’d have a go at the stayers with him, instead of the Pertemps race. Tedham came third to him at Haydock. He’s not ran since but is fairly unexposed. He was running on strongly that day. Lisnagar Oscar followed in Stoney Mountain last time after two starts over fences. He was fifth in the Albert Bartlett and third in another grade one so he’s not short of ability. Diomede Des Mottes filled the place behind him. Before that he’d been a decent second and he’s won at this track before.
Colin Tizzard has the stunning White Moon who ran on this card last year in the novices chase. He’s lost his way since and returns to hurdles. Igor won nicely at Ascot on his penultimate start and then he was sixth of eight in a grade two. He got hampered after the last which won’t have helped . One For The Team is a well-fancied runner under Sam Twiston-Davies. He was second on seasonal debut and then just couldn’t get to the winner in the dying strides at Newbury in a class two. The trip won’t be a problem. Doc Penfro is from a top yard and had his first victory last time at Bangor when he won by four lengths. Special Acceptance has a few letters by his name and Connectable is the outsider.
16:00 Cheltenham And South West Syndicate ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race
There’s a huge field of eighteen unraced four and five year olds in this race. THE ROSARY FLYER is a horse I first spotted in June 2018 in the Goffs Land Rover Sale catalogue. This gelding is by Robin Des Champs, one of my favourite sires, and out of a three times bumper and Hurdle winning mare Present Gesture. He’s a full brother to Pottsie who was with Jessica Harrington, and I’m confident in his chances. The yard has a 28% strike rate in bumpers. Diamond River is a runner to be feared as he’s related to bumper winners. Harry Fry is also good with his bumper horses and has George Valentine. His dam has produced a few good flat horses and a 148 rated NH horse.