For racing fans it was a day of looking forward to the future here but also a chance to remember many happy memories of the past as AP McCoy announced his retirement at Newbury.
It seemed quite appropriate to be at Warwick when hearing the news though,it was here where AP broke Sir Gordon Richards record of 269 winners in one season.
Racing wise at Warwick today we had a quality seven race card with Willie Mullins sending a couple over and with Paul Townend available for spare rides a few trainers took advantage of this.
1.00 Download The Titanbet App Novices’ Hurdle,Class 3,2m5f,11 flights,4yo+
An impressive display by Irish raider Arbre De Vie for the Mullins-Townend combination,always travelling well he crept into the race down the back and took over the lead from Big Jim who was running a PB this season and scored by 11 lengths, Kingscourt Native the second favourite was a further 7 lengths back in third spot.
Plenty to like about this winner,Only a 5yo he will probably be a stable second string at one of the big festivals later on and will jump a fence in time,he is one to keep an eye on next season.
Below,Going out in the country
Below,Arbre De Vie posing
1.35 Money Back Faller Insurance At Titanbet.co.uk Novices’ Chase,Class 3,3m2f,20 fences,5yo+
Only five in this but it could prove to be an informative race in time.
This was all about Cogry who was much more at home over this marathon trip than his last run at Haydock and under Sam Twiston Davies he managed to fight off the attentions of Doing Fine under Paul Townend who was coming back at him with a real rattle after the last fence.
Cogry looks to be suited by stamina tests and relished this,he will surely be bound for the Four Miler at the Festival next month and horses who win this race have a good record, next season races like the Welsh National should be his targets, Doing Fine ran back to his best and clearly has ability without necessary being the classiest horse and he is also turning into a stayer.
Back in third was Uncle Jimmy who readers of this will know won a Pertemps Qualifier here last season,he was staying on at the end and will have learnt a lot,his time will come in handicaps,I Need Gold made most of the running till getting headed down the back.
2.05 Titanbet.co.uk Kingmaker Novices’ Chase,Grade 2,2m,12 fences,5yo+
This was all about Vibrato Valtat who got himself primed for next months Arkle with a bloodless victory here,sitting off the pace set by Top Gamble he eased into contention over two out and scored without breaking sweat.
Of course Un De Sceaux is the one that everybody expects to be the banker of the meeting in the Arkle, Most of Ireland are expecting him to help pay off the winter fuel bills and pay for a summer holiday but Paul Nicholls is bullish about his chance in the Arkle and the way VV travels off the pace he will be in an ideal position to beat him and of course you should never be afraid of one horse.
The only negative is that on his Cheltenham run he might not be able to execute those tactics and the 2m event at Aintree would suit him better but there is only one Festival so you have to try.
2.40 OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle,Listed,2m5f,11 flights.
Back to back wins and a return to winning ways for Glens Melody who found the rhythm again and gave the Mullins-Townend partnership a double on the cards, arguably the class mare in the field,she won this before finishing runner up to the wonder mare Quevega at the Festival, she will head their now and depending where Annie Power goes Glens Melody will be in the shake up of what will be a top mares race.
Glens Melody oozed class in this and she was hard on the steel at the line a she picked them off one by one,apparently after Cheltenham she will head to Punchestown before being retired to the paddocks for motherly duties.
Of the beaten horses Emily Gray came second for the fourth consecutive time,she has class in abundance and deserves a nice win,Fairytale Theatre for the Dan Skelton yard picked up some more Black Type which will only enhance her value.
Below,Glens Melody post race.
3.15 Bet & Watch At Titanbet.co.uk Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,3m2f,12 flights,4yo+ (0-120)
A good few of these were out of form desperate for a dropping in the weights but Tom O’Brien found himself working the double overtime to galvanise Heronshaw to record his first win over hurdles since 2013,Seeing out this long distance trip he would probably want the BHA to introduce hurdle races over 4m!
Island Cruise was second about nine lengths behind and a lot happier after a couple of poor runs over fences, Krackatoa King in third ran a sound race on his handicap debut but will be better down in trip
3.50 titanbet.co.uk Handicap Chase.Class 2,2m4f 110yds,17 fences,5yo+
A commanding performance on his British debut for ex French racer Camping Ground for trainer Tom Walford and giving Paul Townend a three timer, only a 5yo this horse has plenty to offer and probably won’t be going to any of the festivals but he is one to keep an eye on next season with something like the Paddy Power being an obvious target, he should get 3m in time.
Runner up was Al Alfa who kept the winner company all the way round until the last two fences,he ran a sound race and is happier at this trip than the three miles he tried last time, third place was Wilton Milan under the very promising Jack Sherwood,he was outpaced turning for home and could possibly do with a step up in trip.
Camping Ground has a nice touch of class about him, I expect Robert Walford will be having a nice summer now.
4.25 Whitson Bloodstock Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,2m,8 flights,4yo+ (0-120)
A masterful training performance helped produce a real 22-1 shocker in the lucky last as 11yo Temlett now under the care of Richard Phillips giving him his first race for 1106 days jumped out and made all under Gavin Sheehan and never saw another rival,lightly raced for an 11yo this was only his tenth start, back in 2008 at Punchestown he was 8-23 behind Solwhit in a 4yo hurdle.
Hepijeu was a very tired second on his British debut and will improve for the run,the rest of the field all had a lot to do as Temlett ran them into the ground and was never going to be stopped.
An intriguing afternoon of racing then with a few horses having their final outings before next months Cheltenham Festival.
Without doubt the two class acts were Vibrato Valtat and Glens Melody who will both be in the shake up come their respective races.
It was so good that this meeting went ahead,passing two inspections this course has clearly done the right thing in going jumps only as the quality will keep on improving over the years to come.
All being well next Saturday it will be the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park with some top Graded hurdle races thrown in for good measure too.
Until then,Thank you and Goodbye.