Drying conditions over the past few days meant that Warwick’s other premier meeting of the season went ahead and the ground which was Heavy,Waterlogged in Places at the start of the week became Soft,Heavy in Places on raceday.
Seven races which had a real mixed bag of field sizes but the small field events did have some good racing with horses of the same quality.
The feature race of the afternoon was the Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices’ Chase which is a useful trial for next months Arkle at the Festival.
1.00 Caroline Bermingham & Claire Gibbs Birthday Novices’ Hurdle,Class 3,2m5f,11 flights,4yo+
Last months Leamington runner up Open Eagle comfortably scored here as he took this race very easily by 3.75 lengths from Mystical Knight, a mistake at the last didn’t affect him and he won like a 4/7f should do, it’s possible the 3m Albert Bartlett will come up next and he will have a fighting chance in that division
Mystical Knight came here with a good reputation and ran a cracker on his hurdling debut after winning a bumper here on New Years Eve, he will be even better when sent chasing.
1.30 7bets4free.com Novices’ Chase,Class 3,3m1f 100yds,20 fences,5yo+
Three set out,two came home.
Vivaldi Collonges last seen when down the field in the Classic Chase last time got a confidence boosting win back here under Sean Bowen, sharing the lead with Dawson City early on he went on with four to jump and gave Dawson City a 62 length beating, the only other runner Racing Pulse was pulled up on the final circuit.
Only a 7yo trainer Paul Nicholls thinks of him as a real stayer and holds entires at Haydock and Newcastle in the coming weeks,he jumps well and won with ease, Dawson City is a useful sort but was outclassed even with getting 10lb of the winner,a satellite national is his ideal race
The form of the Classic Chase was given a real boost today with Vivaldi Collonges going in here and Houblon Des Obeaux hacking up in the Denman Chase at Newbury
2.05 OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle,Listed,2m5f,11 flights,4yo+ F&M
Flute Bowl called the pipers tune here as she responded to Jamie Moore when asked for her effort and despite a slight error at three out she came to challenge favourite Jessber’s Dream and even thought the favourite hit and stumbled the last flight she was looking held.
The winner gained some very good black type here and continued a fine season for Gary Moore,she doesn’t hold an entry in the big mares race at Cheltenham and could go to Aintree or Punchestown instead.
Jessber’s Dream travelled well but didn’t look to stay the extra trip when making the turn for home and despite Noel Fehily urging her she did keep on but back to 2m will be better for her.
2.40 7bets4free.com Kingmaker Novices’ Chase,Grade 2,2m,12 fences,5yo+
A brave piece of riding by Jamie Moore here as 8-1 outsider of three Violet Dancer kept up the old betting system as he gave 1-5f L’ami Serge an eleven length walloping
Last years Betfair Hurdle winner has taken a quiet approach to chasing and made it 4-5 over the big fences,he got in close to a few down the back which was pretty scary but he is a very streetwise type, he could certainly give Douvan a race next month.
L’ami Serge is clearly better than this and never jumped with fluency,a step up in trip might just suit him, Fox Norton the other runner ran well enough and may be better when handicapping
3.15 Guy Salmon Land Rover Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,3m2f,12 flights,4yo+ (0-120)
Ride of the day here by Kielan Woods as he finally got Extreme Impact to do what his name suggests as he just got up on the line to beat the very unlucky Saint John Henry by a neck, the pair finished just over a length ahead of Letbeso who ran his best race of the season so far.
Extreme Impact certainly gives punters a run for their money and the jockey deserves his praise too,if the BHA brought in 4m hurdles he would be ideally suited by them, Saint John Henry was a lot better back up to this staying trip today,he was on the bridle up the straight but got pipped by a horse who just wanted it more.
Letbeso looked a lot better back over hurdles and has a race in him somewhere.
3.50 7bets4free.com Warwick Castle Handicap Chase,Class 2,2m4f,17 fences,5yo+
A real top quality chase here that brought the Jonjo O’Neill trained and Leighton Aspell ridden Taquin Du Seuil back to form as he put the race to bed around the final turn,after being held up off the early pace he made good headway down the back and swooped round the bend and breezed past second and third placed horses Niceonefrankie and Cogry.
Taquin Du Seuil was a lot more at home in this company today,he is entered in the Ascot Chase on Saturday and no doubt the Ryanair will be a target too,it’s also possible that the Melling or Topham Chases at Aintree will be under consideration too
Niceonefrankie ran a good race in defeat,he will go for another good quality race over this trip soon,Cogry did well over an inadequate trip,a step back to marathon trips will suit.
4.25 Whitson Bloodstock Ltd Handicap Hurdle,Class 4,2m,8 flights,4yo+ (0-120)
Clyne continued his upward climb here as he easily strolled to victory under Leighton Aspell for trainer Evan Williams,twice a winner at Ffos Las he came here after a 4lb rise from winning their in December, clearly on the upgrade he has plenty of scope.
Runner up was Catchin Time who couldn’t live with the winner going down by 11 lengths,Hollywood All Star back in third ran ok but the handicapper currently has his measure.
As for Clyne no doubt another race will beckon but he will have to go into Class 3 races now and the sky is the limit with him for the moment.
A nice afternoons racing then.
All being well we shall be at Haydock on Saturday for the National Trial then the weekend after we go from equine to human racing as indoor athletics from Sheffield comes up.
Letbeso,A lot happier back over timber,should win soon.
Until next time,Goodbye.