Friday, January 11, 2019

Warwick's Classic Chase 2019

There will be lots of betting opportunities to lose your hard-earned between now and the Cheltenham Festival in March but that simple fact isn't going to stop large sections of the media from writing about Cheltenham, talking about Cheltenham, discussing Cheltenham entries, Cheltenham bankers, reporting from Cheltenham preview nights and generally trying to look up to eight weeks or so into the future.

Those in need of a timely fix may want to refer to Lydia Hislop's recently updated Road to Cheltenham series - the hurdlers and its counterpart the chasers.

For my part I've set myself the admittedly difficult but rather more modest task of trying to come up with one who'll at least give me a run for my money in tomorrow's Classic Chase at Warwick (3.00), my local track.

This doesn't have the look of a typical renewal with thirteen declared and the going described as good, good to soft in places; showers are forecast.

At the time of writing Callet Mad, Step Back and Duel At Dawn are all vying for favouritism.

Callet Mad seems to have been around for ages but he's the youngest in this field; since 2000 only two seven-year-olds have come home in front - Baron Windrush (2005) and Shotgun Paddy (2014).

Step Back has only five chase starts to his name and Duel At Dawn, well backed during the week, six but to my mind this race often rides quite rough and generally I tend to prefer a more experienced sort.

Rocky's Treasure and Ibis Du Rheu held five day entries for this and the Hampton Novices' Chase (1.50). Connections of the former have taken the easier option while Ibis Du Rheu's jumping appeared to suffer over the final three fences when well beaten behind The Worlds End at Cheltenham last month.

Jumping is always at a premium at Warwick, particularly down the back straight where the five flights come pretty quickly one after another.

Impulsive Star was fourth in the four miler at Cheltenham last March but he looked ring-rusty on his seasonal debut at Plumpton behind Ok Corral (goes in the Hampton at 1.50); he'll certainly need to be more fluent over the obstacles here. Robert Waley-Cohen has indicated son Sam may not be able to make full use of his three pound claim.

Fourth looked the best Carole's Destrier could hope for jumping the last at Newbury when last seen but Neil Mulholland's charge came with a late rattle to pinch the spoils. A three pound penalty looks manageable and the ground will suit; jockey Robbie Dunne won the 2013 renewal aboard Rigadin De Beauchene.

I've concentrated efforts on the two who can boast previous course winning form - last year's winner Milansbar and Cogry who finished 11 lengths adrift in second that day. 12 months on winning jock Bryony Frost goes to Kempton to ride for Paul Nicholls; Jack Andrews can't do the weight so this year the ride on Milansbar goes to Jack's sister Gina who claims three.

Milansbar looks weighted to confirm last year's placings with Cogry; the latter has gone up three pounds after defeating Singlefarmpayment a head at Cheltenham. That said, Milansbar is now twelve years old and would probably prefer more cut underfoot.

Of the remainder Un Temps Pour Tout has his second run after wind surgery; since 1974 Hey Big Spender (2012) is the only horse to have carried top weight to victory. Of Colin Tizzard's pair Sizing Codelco faces a stiff task after 252 days off the track while Ultragold appeared to stay on his first try beyond three miles one the last day and just may be overpriced at 22/1 - Richard Johnson rides.

Crosspark was fourth in last year's race beaten some 28 lengths (Gina Andrews up) while Chase The Spud has been out of sorts of late.

On the book Milansbar is weighted to finish ahead of Cogry but I'm hoping quicker ground will help the Twiston-Davies inmate. Cogry (7/1 Ladbrokes one fifth the odds four places) is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

I spent sometime on the Classic Chase at Warwick in the hope of finding a bit of value but gave up and turned my attention to the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle down at Kempton.

There are always a lot of question marks over a 50/1 shot and Theatrebar is no exception; I’m going to ignore the negatives and concentrate on the positives.

1. His average unadjusted rating across his 10 runs since the start of 2017 is 128, the lowest rating was 121 and his highest 133 [June 2018 23F Good]. He runs off 131 today so his mark is not unfair. William Marshall, the Yard’s conditional jockey, has only ridden 2 winners from 29 rides so can claim the full 10lb allowance. William is clearly inexperienced and will not be full value for his 10lb but let’s say he is for 50% of it this would take Theatrebar’s mark down to 126, so not withstanding the less exposed horses, rating wise he should at least be able to be competitive.

2. His record in bigger fields reads well; in race of 8 or less runners his record is 0 from 13, in races of 9 or more runners his record is 4 from 7 (placed in 6 from 7).

3. His record on going that is G or GS also reads well with 3 wins from 9 races (7 out of 9 placed efforts).

Of course, he is an 11yo, he is more exposed than most, he is stepping up to listed class for the first time so he is certainly no shoe-in but 50/1 6 places 1/5 odds with William Hill does not look the worst bet in the world!

Good luck!


P.S Memo to self, this bet breaks my New’s Resolution of trying to focus on the more solid type of bets and avoid these speculative wagers….alas I simply struggle to resist them!

GeeDee said...

I know exactly where you're coming from, TW; these longshots, they're just so damned beguiling... Will watch with interest - good luck!

GeeDee said...

Plenty of money for Cogry who was sent off 9/2 favourite. Sam Twiston-Davies raced prominently up front from the off with Milansbar (16/1) for company but I'm afraid the writing was on the wall a good mile from home as the selection quickly lost his position and went back through the field; he finished a tired, well-beaten tenth.

From two out three held a chance - Impulsive Star (8/1), Callet Mad (7/1) and Crosspark (9/1). James Bowen and Callet Mad looked to have the race in safe-keeping jumping the last in front but Sam Waley-Cohen, who had performed wonders to make the weight of 9-12, galvanized mount Impulsive Star to quicken clear and claim the nine-year-old's first chase win by three and a quarter lengths. Crosspark came home third with Carole's Destrier (12/1) fourth and Ultragold (25/1) a remote fifth.