Oktoberfest came to Warwick which was beginning the first meeting of it’s new era of being a National Hunt only course.
A bit sceptical having a meeting with a name like this given as the last time the Germans came to this area of the Midlands was when they tried to destroy Coventry but left with only half the job done!.
As expected the course had Sausages on sale with the corporate area having an Oompah band on which made a change from a generic Irish band playing “Whisky In The Jar” whenever racecourses have an Irish Day.
Due to the weather which led to the drying ground added with meetings on at Bangor and Southwell only forty horses were declared then a non runner made it thirty nine.
Seven races with the feature race being the Class 3 Three mile Chase were on the card for the people who poured in through the gates.
2.10 The RacingUK.com National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle,Class 4,2m,8 flights,4yo+
A 50-1 shocker in the first as 1-6 favourite Vaihau suffered a half length defeat when running on to pace setter Be My Witness who rallied on the run in to keep the favourite at bay.
Second favourite Bjornlucky did lead briefly two out but a mistake at the last cost him any chance of improving and he was comfortably held in third.
Be My Witness had shown nothing in three bumpers and a hurdle prior to this but the new front running tactics worked the oracle today,wether he can follow up is another question.
Vaihau will pick a novice event up soon and he can be forgiven for this.
2.40 The RacingUK.com Handicap Hurdle,Class 3,2m,8 flights,3yo+,(0-130)
A third win on the bounce for the Alan King trained Lazer Blazer who followed up his Monday win at Newton Abbott with a bloodless victory in this five runner race,Held up off the pace he got into contention going down the back and led over two out before scooting away readily from Surf and Turf who ran his usual respectable race.
Lazer Blazer is in fine fettle at the minute and going in off 124 he should be over 130 after his reassessment, Their is a nice 2m1f hurdle at Aintree in a few weeks so that could be the next plan as he is going great guns at the minute.
Mahican of John Fergusons’ yard ran flat and folded tamely but with a bit of juice in the ground he should be better.
3.10 The Ignite Incentives Handicap Chase,Class 4,2m4f110yds,17 fences,5yo+ (0-110)
Again a five runner event and the bookies made In The Gate of Charlie Longsdon the favourite here,hard to work out why as he has not completed his last four starts although he was in contention at the last obstacle last time out at Stratford before falling.
A race of varying fortunes here,Unknown Legend took them along at a fair gallop then approaching the ditch down the back straight which was six from home the favourite In The Gate who was beginning to get into a good position unseated Aidan Coleman onto the Warwick lawn,thankfully both horse and rider were fine.
Turning for home Unknown Legend had looked to have seen the rest off but top weight Moorlands Jack who picked up a summer win at Worcester had other ideas and easily picked him off to win by 1.5 lengths.
Below,Unknown Legend comes back in
3.45 The Hague Print Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,2m5f,11 flights,3yo+,(0-115)
An easy win for AP here as Finding Your Feet in the JP Green and Gold silks came home for an easy win following up from his last success at Fontwell just thirty six days ago.
Leading with three hurdles to go he got the job done and was 1.25 lengths ahead of Bayley’s Dream who was running a PB for the first time in a hurdles race.
I would be doubtful if Finding Your a Feet follows along the lines of stable companion More Of That who got a good name for himself on here before getting World Hurdle glory but it’s possible a Pertemps qualifier would come under consideration at some point?
4.20 The Colliers International Reduces Your Business Rates Handicap Chase,Class 3,3m110y,18 fences,5yo+,(0-140)
Plenty of Ifs and Buts over all these but with this being Oktoberfest day it was only correct that the German bred,Lucy Wadham trained and Leighton Aspell ridden Wiesentraum showed a clean pair of heels to take this valuable race of the day.
Given a peach of a ride he finished fourteen lengths ahead of one of the joint favourites Carrigmorna King,to be fair he made two errors including giving the last a bit of a clout,even then it’s doubtful he would have won as the winner looked to have plenty in hand.
A couple ran poor races,other joint favourite Lost Glory never looked like posing a threat but could be better on softer ground and the Donald McCain trained Bit Of A Jig is one who needs to front run but again and not for the first time he sulked when overtaken so at the moment he could be one to avoid.
Wiesentraum certainly enjoyed himself today,maybe it was the sound of the Oompah band made him think he was back in Germany but he is in good order, It’s possible Cheltenham in a few weeks could be the next target,they have a good 3m Amateur riders event that could suit and one more Important note is that this was a Newmarket trained winner which nobody probably thought would happen after going NH only at Warwick.
Below,Horses coming back in and Wiesentraum has a lovely drink.
4.50 The Trends Uk Maiden Hurdle,Class 4,2m5f,11 flight,4yo+
Java Rose was sent off the 4-9f here and she broke her duck over hurdles at the third attempt here despite a poor landing at the last which nearly gave Aidan Coleman a second fall of the day, travelling well she had this sown up a long way out and looks set for a step up in grade.
Runner up Mogestic was having only a second ever career start,previously he was second in a Southwell bumper and was quickly switched to timber,although still learning he’s going the right way and should find an opening soon, Dashing Over put in a poor shift and weakened tamely but this run means he is now qualified for handicaps.
Below,Going out in the country.
5.20 The rewards4racing.com Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race,Class 6,2m.4-6yo Fillies and Mares.
An upturn in the fortunes of owner and QPR manager Harry Redknapp here as his mare Always Managing made a winning start for new trainer Warren Greatrex, She shared pace duties with the David Pipe trained Lady Of Longstone but the weight allowance told as the increase in tempo occurred and she did enough to keep away the attentions of Dry Ol’Party from the Philip Hobbs yard who finished second for the second time this season,Lady Longstone was third.
One for the notebook was debutant Atomic Tangerine for the Waley Cohens, she was very green but looked to be learning the game as the race progressed,she has a reasonable future and showed a bit of zest!
A fair afternoon of jumping action then,obviously the ground conditions resulted with small fields but as I’ve always believed you don’t need big fields for exciting racing.
Warwick’s new future will be a huge success for them,the place has always had the feel of a jumps course and it’s onwards and upwards from here.
Until the next event,Enjoy reading and please keep sharing the site across the web.