Friday, January 11, 2013

Warwick's Classic Chase day 2013

Last year Warwick racecourse lost a third of its fixtures due to heavy rain while the local district council rejected a plan to build a 100 bedroom hotel on site.

The question now being asked in some quarters is 'Can Warwick keep its racecourse?'

Tomorrow's meeting is the track's biggest jumps card of the year. I intend to pop along for old times' sake - you never know, future meetings could just become vulnerable...

The highlight is the Classic Chase run over three miles five furlongs - 13 face the starter at 3.35. Charlie Longsdon's Pete The Feat has won five on the bounce this season and bids to make it six off a mark of 134, nine pounds higher than when he made all to win the Mandarin Chase at Newbury over Christmas; this evening layers offer 4/1. The locally-trained Restless Harry is bound to be popular and likely to race from the front but in my opinion he's better over the smaller obstacles (one win from four chase starts); the fences come thick and fast down the back straight and he may struggle with the jumping, a comment that could also apply to Bradley although his neck second to Monbeg Dude on his penultimate run reads well after that one won the Welsh National last weekend.

My tip for last week's Welsh National, Universal Soldier, ran like a drain - he reappears here seven days later but is hard to fancy while Rigadin De Beauchene is short enough in the market for a horse that didn't appear to stay three and a quarter miles at Fontwell in March.

Hey Big Spender won last year's renewal with 11 stones 12 off a mark of 156 - tomorrow's top weight Auroras Encore is rated 142 with all the runners set to carry their long handicap weight.

Two interest me - last year's fourth Major Malarkey and the bottom one Flying Award. Twiston-Davies won this in 2005 with Baron Windrush and his charge made a pleasing seasonal debut a neck behind Lively Baron in the London National at Sandown so I'll take an each-way interest in 10/1 chance Major Malarkey.

In the Leamington Novices' Hurdle (3.00) all eyes with be The New One. On course I'll try to get him beaten with Dursey Sound who has one pound to find on official ratings but I wouldn't be confident. In the last six renewals the favourite has obliged on four occasions.

Highland Lodge disappointed in the Leamington Hurdle at the track last year so Rocky Creek is marginally prefered in the novice chase. Having said that, I'm often wary of betting Paul Nicholls' runners in January as in the past the yard has tended to give the majority of their horses a flu jab at the beginning of the month.

I had to look twice to make sure the Pertemps Hurdle (2.25) wasn't some kind of Grand National trial with West End Rocker, Sunnyhillboy and The Package declared. The two mile handicap chase for the Edward Courage Cup (1.15) looks trappy but I'm going to chance George Nympton who won over course and distance last time out.


halpinthomas said...

Celtic Intrigue 6's 12.40
Rody 4's 1.15
Forgotten Gold 5's 1.50
De La Bech 8's 2.25
Rigan de Beauchene 11/2 3.25
Pure Science

GeeDee said...

Excellent tipping from reader halpinthomas who picked out three on the card - Rody (11/2), Rigandin De Beauchnene (5/1) and Pure Science (5/1).

My selections fared less well...

In the feature Major Malarkey (17/2) completed in sixth but was beaten a distance and some. Sam Twiston-Davies placed his mount towards the rear of the field but the Major started to struggle as they entered the back straight for the second time. There was a thrilling finish with three pound claimer Robbie Dunne managing to get a tune out of eventual winner Rigadin De Beauchene after a couple of hairy leaps, denying Godsmejudge and Wayne Hutchinson in the shadow of the post.

George Nympton (5/1), racing in third with Fehily still to play his hand, made a bad mistake at the seventh which effectively ruled him out; he trailed home in sixth behind Rody.

Rocky Creek (7/4) won well, putting the race to bed quickly between the last two flights; Highland Lodge (6/5f) was passed for second on the run-in by Fill The Power (16/1). This sharp track doesn't appear to play to Highland Lodge's strengths - he's worth another chance on another day.