Friday, January 10, 2020

Warwick's Classic Chase 2020

If Unibet ambassador Nicky Henderson thinks he's had a week of it with Altior, he should spare a thought for Harry and Meghan. After a right royal bust-up, they've been told fast track discussions about their future are likely to involve, amongst others, Home Secretary Priti Patel - enough to make anyone want to give up on a Dry January.

I suspect Henderson and Her Majesty could both do with a bit of a restorative and they'll be keen on Keen On providing the necessary cheer in the Leamington Novices' Hurdle (Warwick 2.25).

And what's this? Chancellor Sajid Javid has booked Wednesday 11th March - Champion Chase day - for his first budget speech. Whatever next? Announcing the winner of the Labour Party leadership contest on the same as the Grand National?

The Sussexes may have taken the brave decision to move towards financial independence but this season's blog tips are taking me in completely the opposite direction.

Fair play to Hughie Morrison whose jumpers are doing their best to stem the tide - Maridadi goes in the 3.55 at Wetherby tomorrow - but if this were a boxing match, the ref. would have stopped proceedings some time ago.

The feature on tomorrow's Warwick card is the Classic Chase (3.00) for which thirteen remain at the tine of writing (NRs Rocky's Treasure and previous winner Milansbar); the going is currently described as soft.

Trained by Lucinda Russell, One For Arthur won the 2017 renewal before going on to win the Grand National at Aintree; Big River (from the same stable) held a five-day entry but connections have opted to pass on the long journey south and instead go to Kelso on Sunday.

It's no surprise to see The Conditional head the market. On just his second run for David Bridgwater the gelding beat West Approach at Cheltenham (Crosspark and Captain Chaos pulled up) before finishing a fine second in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury behind De Rasher Counter. The handicapper has raised him five pounds for that effort; this will be his first try beyond three and a quarter miles.

I've never previously held any particular reservation about opposing Kimberlite Candy; however his latest effort, a fine second in first-time cheekpieces in the Becher Chase behind Walk In The Mill, certainly caught the eye. The cheekpieces remain in place - J P McManus will expect a bold bid.

Luca Morgan takes seven pounds off top weight Le Breuil who finished seventh in the Becher, some 17 lengths behind Kimbertlite Candy. Ben Pauling's yard wasn't firing on all cylinders at the time and I know his charge won the 2018 National Hunt Chase on soft ground over four miles at Cheltenham but I just feel Le Breuil is a better horse on better ground.

Both Petite Power and Bobo Mac arrive here in rude health; the latter's best chase form appears to be on a right-handed track.

Darlac's lack of chase experience is off-putting but I note that Impulsive Star won last year's renewal on just his sixth start over the larger obstacles (Crosspark third). Neil Mulholland's charge has been pulled up on every start since so connections swap cheekpieces for blinkers in the hope of sparking a revival.

Captain Chaos' second behind Takingrisks in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November reads well but other recent efforts look below par; trainer Dan Skelton has described his charge as 'an unlucky horse last year' but overall his profile is inconsistent.

Heads To The Stars has a nice racing weight and Hugh Nugent claims five but the jumping has caused problems in the past while Joueur Bresilien doesn't look guaranteed to stay.

Veteran Mysteree would be no forlorn hope if in the mood - this one was beaten a neck by Crosspark in the Eider last February and won at Kelso in October.

Writing in the Weekender Paul Kealy picks Kimberlite Candy indicating he had trouble finding one at a price. I know exactly what he means but I'm going to chance last year's third Crosspark who did me a big favour in the Eider and ran well in the Scottish National.

Caroline Bailey's charge has finished well beaten on both starts this term.

He was pulled up behind The Conditional at Cheltenham and then finished 74 lengths behind Lord Du Mesnil at Haydock just before Christmas. Perhaps the spectacles need some heavy-duty adjustment but he looked handy enough four out the last day before tiring; a mistake three from home ended any hope and he was eased when his chance had gone. The handicapper has dropped him two pounds for that effort and Jamie Moore is back in the plate.

Both Sky Bet and  Paddy Power offer 12/1 and pay one fifth the odds five places. Crosspark is the each-way suggestion.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Captain Chaos (10/1) went hard from the front in the Classic Chase and soon had several struggling. Rounding the home bend Dan Skeleton's charge faced two principal challengers - Kimberlite Candy (9/2) and The Conditional (4/1f).

Kimberlite Candy jumped into the lead at the last to win going away while The Conditional failed to stay, losing third place to Petite Power (12/1) while Le Breuil (15/2) did well to finish fifth after suffering some interference when Darlac came to grief at the nineteenth.

Selection Crosspark (20/1) raced mid division for the first circuit but was unable to maintain his position going down the back straight the final time; he was pulled up before the eighteenth.