Friday, January 15, 2016

From Warwick to Wetherby

The best card of the year at Warwick, my local track, is subject to an 8.00 am inspection tomorrow; frost covers have been deployed and course officials are confident the meeting will go ahead.

As I won't be racing tomorrow I confess haven't done much prep work.

The Classic Chase (3.35) looks as open as ever with the field containing a number of runners who like to race prominently.

The Leamington Hurdle (3.00) is intriguing. Willie Mullins sends over two to challenge course and distance winner Born Survivor. The Weekender reports Dan Skelton's charge 'the best novice hurdler in the yard' so it's no surprise to see this locally-trained gelding head the market.

Skelton, who can boast a strike-rate of over 20% this season, plundered the spoils last year with Three Musketeers and is clearly expected to repeat the trick this year.

Of the Mullins pair, slight preference would be for Open Eagle but seven-year olds don't have a good record in this race and both Irish runners have to concede three pounds to the favourite on heavy ground.

While browsing the entries I was struck by the fact that Aidan Coleman has decided to ride at Wetherby tomorrow.

Venetia Williams has five runners at Warwick - Polo (12.40), Vivaccio (1.15), Rigadin De Beauchene (3.35 - regularly ridden by Robbie Dunne), Houblon Des Obeaux (3.35) and Opera Rock (4.05) - but sends just two up north to Wetherby - Gardefort (2.05) and Azert De Coeur (3,15).

Both are of interest.

Gardefort was third in the same race last year but remains unexposed racing off a mark three pounds lower while Azert De Coeur's fourth behind Cloonacool at Ludlow last time reads well enough in this lower grade event.

Two selections:
Gardefort (9/2) 2.05 Wetherby;
Azert De Coeur (5/1) 3.15 Wetherby. 

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

A fine hold-up ride from Coleman on Gardefort (7/2jf) who took it up coming to the last to win a competitive event with something in hand. The handicapper will have his say after this but I think there's more to come.

An hour or so later I thought the double was up as Aidan sent Azert De Coeur (7/2f) to win his race four from home. Caraline (4/1) was the only one to go with him; the selection was headed coming to the last but had every chance up the run in, eventually going down a head, the pair 15 lengths clear.

Perhaps Joe Colliver's three pound claim on Caraline just made the difference... ;)