Friday, January 13, 2017

Warwick Classic Chase day 2017

With the course covered since Wednesday and temperatures tonight forecast to dip no lower than freezing, prospects for tomorrow's Betfred Classic Chase day, the biggest meeting of the year at my local track Warwick. look good.

Twenty are set to contest the featured Classic Chase at 3.35 run over a distance of three miles five furlongs; the current going is officially described as soft, heavy in places.

Three former winners line-up - Rigadin De Beauchene (2013); Shotgun Paddy (2014) and Russe Blanc (2016).

Amongst those behind Russe Blanc last year were Midnight Prayer (second), Houblon Des Obeaux (fourth), and Vivaldi Collonges (fifth) with both Rigadin De Beauchene and Sego Success falling; just five of the fourteen starters completed.

Tomorrow's renewal is typically competitive. Ballycross is at or near the top of most lists; last time out in receipt of eight pounds he was beaten just under six lengths by Pobbles Bay who runs in the 1.50.

Rated 139 Shotgun Paddy appears to have been given every chance having won off a mark of 145 in 2014 and then finishing third off 147 the following year.

Last month Vieux Lion Rouge pipped Highland Lodge in heart-breaking fashion in the Becher Chase at Aintree - the form is represented here by One For Arthur (fifth), Bob Ford (seventh) and Midnight Prayer (ninth).

One For Arthur, beaten under three lengths that day, travels down from Scotland and connections fit a tongue-tie for the first time; the gelding's sound jumping should serve him well at this track.

Kim Bailey saddles Knockanrawley who hasn't seen a racecourse for 427 days. The handler states:

"He's as fit as I can get him at home, but I'm afraid he's still as big as a house. He looks like a double decker bus!"

Occasionally I've thought there might be a race like this in Bob Ford. His trainer is presently in good form but to date all his wins have come at either Ffos Las or Chepstow; at the weights he will struggle to reverse Becher Chase form with One For Arthur.

Down the years I've preferred experience in this race; on the back of Alan King's notes in the Weekender (horse in fine fettle, likes Warwick) Midnight Prayer is no more than a tentative each-way suggestion. He's priced up 22/1 in places.

Peregrine Run is the suggestion for the Leamington (3.00) on the back of his defeat of Wholestone last time. Gayebury is short enough but finished third behind Ballyandy in a Newbury bumper last February.

Finally there are some big weights in the opening novices' handicap hurdle at 12.40.

Robin Dickin's Wildmoor Boy was kept busy over the summer months and landed a Class 3 event at Cheltenham's Open meeting. The horse is talented but a bit of a worrier who needs a lot of walking; the last day at Leicester the trainer reported the horse had left his race somewhere on the M69 - readers may recall Restless Harry from the same yard who suffered with similar issues.

Wildmoor Boy runs at his local track tomorrow so the travelling shouldn't be a problem - the trouble is the ground's far from ideal... That's racing.


Anonymous said...

Odds of 20/1+ about Midnight Prayer look fair enough and 4/1 Peregrine Run (tops my ratings) looks quite generous. I’ll watch both with interest.

I’m dithering over placing a small bet on Fourth Act. Back over hurdles on a tempting mark and the use of Angus Cheleda, the yard’s conditional jockey, ensures a further 10lb is taken off the horse. Angus has won 3 from 4 (75%) for the yard so it looks like they may be making full use of his claim. I’ve missed the early 20/1 and the current 14/1 is a little less tempting.

Good Luck


GeeDee said...

Interesting, TW. Rated 137 over fences, he's running off 128 today and Angus can claim a further ten pounds. Given that profile, 14/1 still looks a decent bet to me...

Will also monitor a previous selection of yours, Chesterfield, in the Lanzarote. Has been touted here and there and 12/1 now is short enough. This is his first try at the trip but he also held an entry for the concluding handicap hurdle over two miles.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

Certainly Rigadin De Beauchene (16/1) looked up for the Classic Chase, throwing Robbie Dunne as they came out onto the track. Racing hard from the front, Venetia Williams' twelve-year-old took no prisoners and soon had several in trouble including the selection. Rigadin went backwards three from home, still finishing a creditable sixth, but the honours went to One For Arthur who made eye-catching headway down the back straight to put the race to bed between the last two flights. Goodtoknow (25/1) chased him home followed by Shotgun Paddy (7/1cf) and Houblon Des Obeaux (14/1). Midnight Prayer (20/1) raced mid division for much of the first circuit but struggled to keep tabs on the leaders thereafter and was eventually pulled up; eleven of the twenty completed.

There was a lively betting heat before the Leamington with money for Geordie Des Champs (7/4f) and eventual winner Willoughby Court (11/4) backed in from 6/1 at the track. Get On The Yager (8/1) had previously beaten Willoughby 13 lengths at Market Rasen but this time David Bass adopted aggressive front-running tactics on Ben Pauling's charge and the strategy paid handsome dividends. Selection Peregrine Run (11/2) was friendless in the market but chased the leader off the home turn without making an impression, losing second to Gayebury (9/2) in the shadow of the post.