Aintree Races,Randox Health Grand National Festival Day Two, Friday 13th April 2018

It may have been a wet and gloomy Ladies Day at Aintree but the cloud occupied by the late Richard Woollacott shone down on his wife and current licence owner Kayley to give her one of the biggest wins in her training career as Lalor finally delivered his first success over hurdles when landing the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle much to the delight of friends,family and racegoers alike. 

Everyone in the racing family was stunned when news of Richard’s passing came through and this seemed to be the result everyone would have wanted, winner of last seasons bumper on the card he has had placed efforts over hurdles but the return to Aintree certainly brought about the best in him and he can kick on from here hopefully and go on to much better things. 

Kayley Woollacott (Blue Coat)

On a very emotional day indeed one man who got a win that was most definitely deserved was John Hales, twenty years after One Man’s death in the Melling Chase his current star chaser Politologue just got the better in a titanic battle in the feature Grade 1 Melling Chase from the Willie Mullins trained Min for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, A top quality race on paper he was behind Min in the Queen Mother but the extra trip brought about his best performance of the season despite winning top races like the Tingle Creek and Desert Orchid Chases. 

Paul Nicholls will have plenty to think about over the summer with this horse, natural targets would probably be races like the Peterborough and Ascot Chases so to avoid Altior in the big two mile events, Min is a top two miler but even more effective at this longer trip too. 

John Hales,Sam Twiston-Davies and Politologue


The Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase over 3m1f was a more than top quality renewal with some top quality staying chasers on show and Nicky Henderson continued his good fortune here with Terrefort putting in an exemplary round of steeplechasing under the steerage of Daryl Jacob to get the better of the gutsy mare Ms Parfois, Already a Grade 1 winner at Sandown in February over shorter he showed no problems about staying the extra trip. 

A lovely looking grey he will make Nicky Henderson wonder what to do now in making sure he doesn’t cross the path of Might Bite next season and he is a serious chaser for next season at the top table, Ms Parfois back in second is a tough mare and she can take a hand in the long distance division next season in races like the Classic Chase and Welsh National. 

Terrefort

The Topham Chase gave the jockeys a chance to get their eye in for the big one tomorrow over one lap of the National course and it was a case of rewind back to last year as Ultragold repeated his win of last year albeit from a 5lb higher mark under Harry Cobden, making most of the running he jumped these fences like he was born to do so and showed that the Aintree factor is very much essential here, back in second spot was Theatre Territory under Sam Waley-Cohen who ran an honest race but still needs dropping a few pounds to get that elusive win. 

A happy Ultragold

Another Henderson winner came to fruition in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices over the marathon 3m trip for young stayers in Santini under Nico De Boinville but it certainly wasn’t easy as the mare Roksana made a race of it with both split across the width of the track towards the end with Santini just getting on top at the end, this is a very good horse in the making and has a top future ahead of him next season wether it be over timber or its just possible that fences could well be called for. 

Ladies Day began with the Alder Hey sponsored hurdle over 2m4f and this race gave a good start for the bookies with a 20-1 surprise in Jester Jet for the Tom Lacey stables, this 8yo mare had missed Cheltenham after a gallant second in a Warwick Mares’ Hurdle back in February and made good use of her featherweight of 10-9, no doubt her paddock value will have had a few extra pounds added on to it after this as will her handicap mark which was 133 before landing this Grade 3. 

In the finale a Grade 2 Open Bumper, that went to the 25-1 shot Portrush Ted who gave Gavin Sheehan a dream ride and dug deep when asked to easily best Kateson and Harambe by just over three lengths, as is the case in a race like this it will be stacked full of potential top quality novice hurdlers for next season and is worth keeping an eye on the form of it. 

In summary Ladies Day was a very emotive one most especially for Kayley Woollacott and John Hales and anyone who follows this sport would have been over the moon for the pair of them, racing has its ups and downs and this was without doubt a huge up for both of them. 

Everyone was shocked in the racing village back in January and to take over the licence and keep the flag flying plus getting a Grade 1 is something that Richard will have been dancing up on his cloud on Friday night.  

Aintree has held another great festival as usual, you can be sure that whenever you come to this place you see that the north west has its own way of doing things. 

So that brings an end to my jumps season for 2017-18, it’s had its ups and downs and now it’s time to concentrate on the flat with hopefully a few more visits to more flat meetings with the first one being the Thirsk Hunt Cup meeting this time being ran at Wetherby so a sort of final fling of the jumps if you like!

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Aintree Races, Thursday 12th April 2018, Randox Health Grand National Festival,Day One 

Nicky Henderson probably paid for many of the locals summer holidays at Aintree on the opening day of the Randox Health Grand National meeting as he saddled a rapid fire hat-trick of winners on a cloudy,slightly chilly in places but thankfully not a rainy afternoon on Merseyside. 

The feature winner on the day came in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle with L’Ami Serge bouncing back from a below par performance at Cheltenham under Daryl Jacob to overpower short priced favourite Supasundae and easily bag the prize, having mixed hurdles and fences this term L’Ami Serge looks possibly set to head over to Paris and take in the French Champion Hurdle that he won last year, this win also paid a nice complement to Grand National entry Warriors Tale who finished ahead of L’Ami Serge in the Great Yorkshire at Doncaster. 

L’Ami Serge

Henderson’s first winner of the three came in the 4yo Hurdle with the very impressive We Have A Dream making it four on the bounce since coming over from France as he ran away with an impressive front running performance putting a good few lengths between him and Gumball, plenty options will be available to him next season but a novice chasing campaign could be in mind and he looks a chasing type in the making. 

We Have A Dream

Far way the classiest of the three winners came with Might Bite who showed no ill effects after his hard race in the Gold Cup last month, tracking long time leader and eventual runner up Bristol De Mai he led after the penultimate fence and quickly put the race to bed, thoughts of the £1,000,000 Triple Crown next season have been talked about and on this showing if he handles the potential Haydock mud then we could be in for a season to remember in the staying chase division. 

Might Bite

First race of the day was the Grade 1 Big Buck’s Celebration Manifesto Novices’ Chase and what looked an ok but not spectacular looking contest saw a huge bounce back to form for Finian’s Oscar after a very poor showing at the Cheltenham Festival, last seasons Mersey Novices’ Hurdle winner on Grand National Day he showed he likes this place to land the spoils despite having to work hard to overpower the mare Rene’s Girl on the run in, he may have been hit and miss over the big obstacles but the way he galvanised himself after the last showed that he might be worth having a go over 3m in time.  

Aintree’s big green fences came to the fore for the amateur riders in the Foxhunters’ Chase over 2m5f it’s a race that requires good jumping ability,speed,stamina and heart to pick up the £22586 owners prize money.

In the end the same winning system as last year came to the fore, Balnaslow who was the runner up last year to Dineur who himself was a runner up the year before took the scalp of some quality horses which was its usual standard of quality horses and riders who love the challenge that these fences bring, given a quiet patient ride up the inside by Derek O’Connor he made his move on the run to the elbow then began to edge ahead of Bear’s Affair, more of a spring horse now he should be off to Punchestown after this to defend his title from last year. 

Balnaslow


Sadly Lilbitluso took a nasty fall at the Canal Turn and sadly was fatally injured, Our condolences to all connected. 

For many one of the fastest and hair raising races is the Red Rum Chase over 2m on the Mildmay course which brought about a victory for Bentelimar who came bounced back from a disappointing show at Kempton last time to fend off the challenge of Theinval by just over three lengths in a typical Aintree thrilling finish. 

Finally the Grade 2 Mares’ Bumper sent punters home happy as the jolly duly obliged in the lucky last as Getaway Katie Mai under Jamie Codd had to put in the double overtime to get the better over long time leader Duhallow Gesture who eventually came third and the staying on Midnightreferendum who was second, Plenty to like about this mare who was runner up behind the Festival bumper winner back at Leopardstown in February and she will make a nice hurdler next season. 

So a useful afternoons racing in Merseyside, it may have been a bit chilly seeing as it’s done nothing but rain and be cold around the north west since September, the weather surely must make a change in the right direction soon!
Friday is Ladies Day and no doubt that despite the forecast not being that good the Liverpool ladies will come out in force for their big day out of the year!

Haydock Park,Saturday 31st March 2018, Smarkets Challenger Finals Day. 

Middle of the road jumps horses had their day not quite in the sun on Easter Saturday at Haydock but more a chilly afternoon and probably for the first time in this neck of the woods at a jump meeting the rain relented and gave itself the day off for the finals of the 2017-18 Challenger Series. 

For trainer Lucy Wadham she kept flag flying for Newmarket as the flat brigade were busy over in Meydan at some valuable flat meeting by landing the Staying Chase Final over 3m1f and a few yards extra with Potters Legend who showed no ill effects after his recent Fakenham tumble and roughed it out to go on and win by 11 lengths from Horatio Hornblower, Aidan Coleman got a good tune out of him and he could be ideal for a Becher Chase or Badger Ales next season. 
The race also had one of the best displays of horsemanship seen on a racecourse for a long time when Barry Geraghty on favourite Behind Time made a complete horlicks at the ninth fence which caused him to lose the reigns and somehow he managed to wangle them back around despite the right hand side being under the horses neck and certainly brought back memories of Carl Llewellyn on Beau in the 2001 National, that error cost Behind Time all chance and he was eventually pulled up

Potters Legend

Donald McCain landed a 1-2 in the 2m Hurdle with William Of Orange showing the benefits of his recent wind op by giving stablemate Chti Balko a 3.25 length beating, behind the pace under Lorcan Murtagh (5) he got the lead over the last and forged ahead to win, Donald McCain has a couple of Spring targets in his eye for him in the Chester Cup or the Swinton Hurdle in May. 

William Of Orange.

The opening race was the first part of a top and tail double for Ian Williams, Amber Gambler at the foot of the weights beat the top one Crievehill by a length, back after a short break since flopping at Doncaster he jumped pretty fluently and did it in a professional manner, he has form over further and that stamina helped him out a lot. 

A stewards was called for into the Mares’ Hurdle final over 2m3f when they deemed eventual winner The Delray Munky had suffered interference off Lamanver Odyssey, it was very bumpy on the run in between the two and at first look watching the race it seemed like the claxon would be sounded which it duly did, already a winner of three Ayr hurdle races this season the connections from Iain Jardine may just be having a look at any potential races at the Ayr or Perth festivals in a few weeks time. 

A pulsating finish in the Stayers Hurdle over 2m7f saw Culture De Sivola under Harry Cobden fend off Andrew Thornton on Head To The Stars, this was a race that was run at a solid pace but it was all about the closers to come on through the beaten horses to fight out the finish, following up from a Taunton win over 3m that could be it for the season for her and she will make a useful prospect next season should connections have a go down the staying division or go chasing. 

Peter Bowen had the long drive back to Pembrokeshire seem a lot shorter following Rons Dream impressive jumping display in the 2m6f Mares’ Chase Final, runner up at Bangor last weekend over 3m she looked to appreciate the slight drop in trip and drew away from second placed Socksy very nicely, Rons Dream is a very likeable mare and can build on from this with connections hoping to get some black type into her no doubt. 

Rons Dream

Finally the Ian Williams second winner of the day came in the gruelling 3m4f Tim Molony Chase in Zerachiel who was one of only four finishers and picked up his first win of the campaign since landed a novice chase last season. 

Next up here we head to Aintree for the first two days as usual of the Randox Health Grand National meeting, hopefully with some new things to improve our coverage!

Haydock Park,Saturday 17th February 2018,Betfred Grand National Trial Day. 

It’s been a quiet season by Venetia Williams’ standards but the Hereford based trainer landed her second Grand National Trial win at Haydock with as expected the one horse who doesn’t hold an entry in the Aintree spectacular as Yala Enki demolished a high quality field in an incident packed staying chase over a gruelling 3m4f marathon trip handing National market leader and top weight Blaklion a 54 length drubbing. 

The victor in last seasons Tommy Whittle he was always up in the van guard, to begin with Silsol fell at the first fence then coming up to half way Three Faces West tumbled at the 13th, in line for home only three had a chance which became two when Wild West Wind found the conditions too much and pulled himself up with legs of jelly at the second from home. 

This left Yala Enki nicely ahead of Blaklion who could do no more as Yala Enki under Charlie Deutsch powered away, he doesn’t hold an Aintree entry and talk of Uttoxeter has been mentioned as he needs soft ground so the Midlands or Scottish ones will be under the microscope for now  

Yala Enki,2018 National Trial Winner

Blaklion in all fairness ran well but was giving nearly a stone to the next horse in the weights, he will be given a small break before getting ready for Aintree and he isn’t one to write off after this. 

Fans of long distance hurdles had an unlimited buffet of them this afternoon with three races for punters to tackle. 

First up Donna’s Diamond supplemented last months impressive handicap win when bolting up in the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle, on the front end with Boite who took an unfortunate fall at the third from home which left him in front he battled on under Callum Bewley to fend off odds on favourite Agrapart who again failed to deliver in this race and No Hassle Hoff who himself had two extra jumps to contend with when leaping over Boite and his rider. 

Donna’s Diamond needs soft ground but could pop down the East Lancs for a crack at the Liverpool Hurdle in April providing the going is soft, Agrapart isn’t entered at the Festival either and could be Aintree bound too. 

Donna’s Diamond,2018 Rendlesham Hurdle winner

Photo of Donna’s Diamond courtesy of Steve Mullington

Nicky Hendeson has a useful sort in Chef Des Obeaux as he breezed home to take the Albert Bartlett, he got the lead exiting the back straight and kicked on to best a more than useful looking field, a chaser in the making for next season he will be involved in the finish of the Cheltenham Albert Bartlett, Uppertown Prince stayed on for second spot and will also be a decent type next season too. 

Chef Des Obeaux

Bridget Andrews picked up a nice win for herself with the handicap debutant in Tommy Rapper who got the judges verdict in the Pertemps Qualifier, given a quiet hold up ride he picked them off slowly but surely and took the lead off the ever consistent Theo’s Charm on the run and just got up buy a neck, Dan Skelton may be swayed by the final at the Festival although with Bridget still being able to claim 3lb then the Martin Pipe might be under consideration too. 

Bridget Andrews

Sadly their was a bit of bad news to come from the race with the passing of Black Ivory who sadly made his way to the stable in the sky after being brought down at the fifth flight, Condolences to all at Ruth Jefferson’s stable. 

The Victor Ludorum over 2m was one of three races that needed a photo to separate them and Turning Gold just edged out Cornerstone Lad in a real pulsating finish, a former flat horse with Sir Mark Prescott he his now trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and had been placed in three starts over timber but finally got his first win over hurdles, The Fred Winter was touted. 

Two other chases supplemented the card, First up just four set off in the 2m4f Novice Handicap Chase and only two got round with judge Nick Bostock again needing to get the magnifying glass out as Lake View Lad gave last months Altcar Novice Chase a boost by getting a short head verdict over Crievehill in a fine finish, Ayr might be under consideration now for the Nick Alexander trained winner for a 3m Novice Handicap or the Future Stars depending how things pan out. 

Last of all Virak got himself qualified for the Cheltenham and Aintree Foxhunters by staying on hard to land the 2m6f Walrus Hunter Chase, The class horse of the race by far he could well be aimed at both for which Haydock put on a bonus prize. 

Virak

Cheltenham and Aintree will soon be upon us then and it’s possible that we might have seen a few potential horses to get involved with at the business end. 

Review wise it might be a bit quiet here until Easter Saturday which is a fair few weeks unless anything else pops up, if it doesn’t then may I wish you all a very successful Cheltenham 😀

Wetherby Races,Saturday 3rd February 2018,Totepool Medieval Day. 

If it’s a Graded steeplechase over three miles at Wetherby then it can only mean one thing, back whatever Nigel Twiston-Davies sends up and that proved to be the casing point as Ballyoptic got his novice chasing career back on track with a dour display to bag the 3m Towton Novice Chase in gritty style on very testing ground as he fought back to over power long time pace setter Vintage Clouds. 

A useful renewal on paper the race had a faller midway when the mare Pearl Royale took a tumble at the ninth after already skidding on landing at the fence before, up the straight at the business end Shades Of Midnight hit the front before running out of steam and getting overtaken by the class horses of the race, in the end Tom Bellamy was rewarded for persistence to land the odds, he holds entries in the Stayers and the RSA at Cheltenham but many Wetherby regulars will be curious to see if his trainer comes back here in November with Bristol De Mai and Blaklion for a triple assault on the Charlie Hall!

Vintage Clouds has plenty of experience over fences and reportedly has Aintree as his target and this run here off 140 will have done his chances no harm to get up the weights, he will probably come to Haydock in two weeks time for the big trial race for the National. 

Ballyoptic

Elsewhere on a race day with a few small field races their weren’t many shocks it truth be told. 

The first two races on the card had a similar pattern following them in that both were trained by lady trainers from flat racings head quarters of Newmarket. 

Shambra easily landed the opening mares’ novice hurdle for trainer Lucy Wadham and Maxime Tissier (7), a winner on the flat at Carlisle in heavy ground off 65 last September she ran on readily enough and looks a progressive mare, wether she has a go at the Dawn Run is one thing but her flat mark will possibly be exploited in the summer too. 

The other trainer was Amy Murphy whose continued good fortunes came with Mercian Prince who just got up to land the 2m4f Handicap Chase in a pulsating three way drive to the line, he didn’t handle the big greens of Aintree but came here off the back of a nice win at Kempton, The Byrne Group Plate has been touted by the trainer as a possibility. 

Dan Skelton may have been out of luck in the big race but he left Yorkshire with a double on the day, first one came in the 2m5f Novice Hurdle with Robin Waters obliging like a 4/9f should, Harry Skelton put him in front at the last where he was always cantering and never came out of first gear, he will make a chaser next season but before that it’s possible he might have a pop up to Haydock for the Persian War before a crack at the three mile novice event at Cheltenham but he has a decent future. 

Second up came Red Rising in the 3m Handicap Hurdle who also breezed home and might be aimed at the Challenger Final at Haydock on Easter Saturday next month, another progressive type who will be chasing next season. 

Galway Jack repeated his win in the 3m Hunter Chase beating only one opponent in Auldthunder who was 64 lengths back, 13 now this win was merely a glorified racecourse gallop,even more so than Buveur D’Air at Sandown but connections picked up £2,370 and a few pennies after three of the five declared runners got pulled out which was a disappointment for the sport. 

Last up came the bumper run in almost darkness and won nicely by Black Pirate from the James Ewart yard, a point winner over 2m4f in December he looks useful enough to make a fair jumper in time. 

Some reasonable racing then but of course the main story of the weekend was the sad passing of Malcolm Jefferson one of the stalwarts of the northern jumping scene, he will be much missed and like everyone in this sport we send our condolences to all the family and wish his daughter Ruth all the best as she now flies the flag in Malton for the family name. 

Haydock Park,Saturday 20th January 2018,Peter Marsh Chase Day

Racing hearts were well and truly warmed up yesterday on a damp afternoon when Haydock racegoers bore witness to see The New One record a fourth consecutive win in the feature Grade 2 Champion Hurdle Trial.  

Fans of the great game love their horses and for the regulars at this meeting they showed appreciation to arguably one of the most loved hurdlers to grace the Haydock mud in recent times, he never wins this race easily and has to grind out the result but inevitably the job always gets done, making most of his own running he made a few jumping errors which is nothing new here but had to rally on the run into overpower Ch’tibello who travelled ominously well behind him getting a good tow and did lead with a furlong to go but Sam Twiston-Davies made sure that victory would not be denied as he threw everything bar the kitchen sink at his charge to land the two mile contest. 

The Stayers’ is going to be the next race for him at the festival and no doubt followed by a crack at either the Aintree or Liverpool Hurdles in April, whatever happens though he no doubt has the Haydock committee wondering if he deserves a bar and a statue at Haydock as well the race being named after him now. 

The New One

Haydock’s feature steeplechase was the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase over 3m1f and in truly attritional conditions only five of the thirteen starters completed the course with Colin Tizzard saddling a useful type in The Dutchman putting three previous course winners firmly in their place as he readily ran away to pick up the prize, right from the go the pace was solid and The Dutchman shared pace duties with Yala Enki who weakened with a couple to jump but The Dutchman carried on remorselessly eventually finishing 13 lengths ahead from Tommy Whittle winner Captain Redbeard. 

Having only his seventh start over fences The Dutchman boasted some decent form most notably when runner up to Sam Spinner here over hurdles in November, The Eider is mooted as a possible option next month and he is every inch a tough stayer. 

Kim Bailey has a useful prospect on his hands in Full Flow who hacked up by 10 lengths to land the Grade 2 Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle, given a good ride by David Bass he led after the fourth last and skipped around the far turn by which time the opposition couldn’t stay with him and he landed this 10 lengths ahead of Midnight Shadow, given the conditions he won’t be going to Cheltenham unless it becomes a monsoon so he this might be his last run of the season although Punchestown might be an outside bet as it always seems to be very soft at that meeting. 

Full Flow

The good run of Donald McCain continues and he saddled a couple of nice winners, first up Testify followed in the hoofprints of horses such as Waiting Patiently and Bristol De Mai to land the Grade 2 Altcar Novice Chase over 2m4f, a bit of gloss was taken off the race when Positively Dylan fell at the second fence which left a match between Testify and Lake View Lad, both kept each other company until the straight then the winner went on at the business end of the race to score by seven lengths, he will be entered in the RSA and JLT but wether he runs beforehand in something like the Scilly Isles or Pendil is another thing. 

Testify

McCain’s second of the day came when Ubaltique took the 2m Handicap Chase for the third year in a row, he looked outpaced up the straight but when the leading horses all fell into a heap he battled on under Will Kennedy to scoop the pot up. 

Joke Dancer again showed his liking for Haydock as he just hung on from the fast finishing Reverant Cust to land the 2m Handicap Hurdle, the ground probably didn’t help and connections will be hoping the handicapper doesn’t overreact to his winning mark of 115. 

Finally Chris Grant who is always shrewd with the horses he sends here picked up a nice prize as Donna’s Diamond who hadn’t been sighted since being fourth here in the 2016 Fixed Brush Hurdle romped away to land the 2m7f Peover Handicap Hurdle by a whopping 37 lengths, always traveling well he jumped nicely and looked the winner when leaving the far turn, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares after this. 

Donna’s Diamond

A testing afternoon then at Haydock and despite the bad weather all week trying to derail this meeting from the horse racing railway line the show did go on and the ground staff deserve plenty of praise for not losing the battle. 

Without a doubt the star of the show was The New One, he is as regular in landing the Champion Hurdle Trial as the UK are when flopping at Eurovison and deserves to run a big race in March when he goes over three miles. 

With the current weather situation it’s hard to know when the next meeting on here will be so I shan’t make any promises, hopefully Wetherby next month for the Towton will be the plan so till next time, Goodbye and enjoy your racing. 

Warwick Races,Saturday 13th January 2018

For once the Frost was made very welcome at Warwick in early January but thankfully not from the nasty white stuff that has cost the midlands venue the occasional meeting including this one over the years but the star jockey of the National Hunt season, Bryony Frost. 

Three big graded chase wins this season for the pride of Devon as she gave Milansbar a dream ride to land the Grade 3 Classic Chase over the marathon trip of 3m5f to follow up her winning rides in the Badger Ales Handicap and Kauto Star Novice Chase early on in the season. 

A beaming Bryony Frost

From the outset Milansbar went to the front of the field sharing pace duties with favourite Missed Approach but Milansbar was readily clear on the turn for home showing no signs of stopping finishing 11 lengths clear of Cogry with Missed Approach another 12 lengths back in third spot. 

Winning owner Robert Bothway and trainer Neil King will no doubt have their eyes on the big prize at Aintree after this but going in off 134 he may need a bit of a hike and help from the handicapper to make the final 40, a trip to Haydock’s Grand National Trial or the Midlands National may be the next races on the list but regarding the National it’s possible that given the way he was ridden then the Scottish one would be better. 

Milansbar

Onto the supporting races and while trainer Nicky Henderson was busy up in Scotland getting married, one would hope he told the vicar to whack the collection on Mr Whipped as he overcame inexperience to bag the Grade 2 Ballymore Leamington Novice Hurdle over 2m5f, given plenty of cover early he travelled well and despite going to the right on the run in he found extra when needed and gave the impression that he will stay further plus showing he can fight when faced with the running on Paisley Park who finished an honourable second. 
Ms Parfois picked up some more black type as she took the Listed Hampton Novice Chase over 3m putting in an exemplary round of jumping and giving a five length beating to favourite Duel At Dawn in the process, following up a recent Newbury win last time out this mare is going the right way over fences and connections will be eyeing up the big staying handicaps next season. 

Ms Parfois

Malcolm Jefferson had a huge day to remember with a big cross the card double, the Warwick leg came from the vastly improving Black Ivory under Jamie Hamilton to bag a decent looking Pertemps Qualifier over 3m1f, tackling this long trip for only the second time he clearly is a stayer on the upgrade but will need to go up in the weights to make the cut at Cheltenham as he went in off 126, he had a bit of a battle on his hooves with Sykes who had the lead over the last flight but battled on to overpower him on the run in.   

Black Ivory


Big Jim rolled back the years to win the 2m Edward Courage Cup again, the 2016 victor never saw another rival as he made all and had enough in hand to hold off the staying on Imjoeking, he had only had three races since his 2016 win here and having only his tenth race over fences Big Jim might still have more to offer. 

Classic Chase day began with a wide open albeit poor looking 2m Novice Handicap Hurdle in which the field were well stretched out like the Sunday washing down the back straight and quite a few had chances turning for home but in the end Vado Forte having his second handicap start duly obliged, handicaps will be his limit but he can hopefully go on from this. 

Finally the traditional finale was the Bumper for unraced horses over 2m (essentially a Wood Ditton for jumpers) and the most one sided finish of the whole day as Thebannerkingrebel made all under the slowly fading light to bolt up by 12 lengths for the Jamie Snowden yard, hard to know what to make but he could no more than he did and should make into a nice jumper, wether he goes to the big festival bumpers is one thing but he will give the owners in the Jamie Snowden Racing Club many happy dreams during the summer months. 

All in all it has to be said that it was a top afternoon at Warwick and the crowd who turned out were treated to some very good racing and no doubt Bryony Frost will have made everyone’s day wether they backed her or not. 

The quality of ladies riding over jumps is getting better and better, horse racing is one of the few equal unisex sports for its competitors and long may it last. 

Also their was a real buzz about the place too, full of racegoers who wanted to see good racing and a great advert for seeing top horses at courses that don’t normally have a huge portfolio of big jumps races like Cheltenham,Sandown,Aintree and Ascot. 

The programme had a message from the general manager Andre Klein who said that the Classic Chase is often an under appreciated race which indeed he is right about but for many it’s a good staying test of a horse on a unique track like Warwick. 

The forecast for the upcoming week means it’s in the air wether or not your intrepid reporter will be at Haydock for Peter Marsh Day on Saturday so until next time, Goodbye.