Warwick stages a key Grand National trial on Saturday when they host the Grade 3 McCoy Contractors Classic Handicap Chase as part of their seven-race card.
There are also a pair of Grade 2 novice contests on a strong card, with action underway from 12.40pm-4.05pm.
Watch all the action – as well as every race from the UK and Ireland – via live streaming when logged into MansionBet. Our tipster has selections for all of Saturday’s Warwick action.
12.40 – Pertemps Network Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2m4f)
It wasn’t a faultless effort but FRANKINCENSE ultimately was a decisive winner at Exeter in November and that form has a pleasing look to it now with the second and third victorious since. A 6lb rise isn’t beyond him on only his third hurdles start for this trainer.
Ex-Joseph O’Brien inmate Pasley is tumbling down the ratings and could easily find form soon in the McManus hoops, while Detached gets on well with Ben Godfrey and is also worth considering for place money.
Selection: Frankincense @
1.15 – Edward Courage Cup Handicap Chase (2m)
Sky Pirate was a very ready winner at Cheltenham last month, dismissing subsequent winner Ibleo without any fuss. He will be a major player if staging a repeat but Jonjo O’Neill’s charge hasn’t always relished a battle. Equus Millar and AMOOLA GOLD may force him to scrap from his new mark (up 11lb) and the latter was narrowly denied a three-timer by the progressive First Flow at Ascot in November. The winner and third have obliged since and Dan Skelton’s charge is fancied to go close from 5lb higher.
Selection: Amoola Gold @
1.50 – McCoy Contractors Civils And Infrastructure Hampton Novices’ Chase (Grade 2, 3m)
Just three runners for this Grade 2 event. Golan Fortune was fourth in the Grade 1 Kauto Star at Kempton over Christmas, though he beat only one other finisher. Next Destination made a winning transition to chasing at Newbury in November, taking a Grade 2 event. Paul Nicholls feels there is more to come, but he’ll need it as that form has taken several knocks since.
The consistent FIDDLERONTHEROOF has twice been second-best in this grade since his Exeter win in November. He appeared to get outpaced in those Newbury and Ascot runs but stuck to his task resolutely and perhaps there’s more in him now upped to 3m. He gets 5lb from the market leader and can make it count.
Selection: Fiddlerontheroof @
2.25 – Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m5f)
Oscar Elite has won two hurdles races at Chepstow (2m3½f/2m7½f) as he pleased on heavy ground and is a major player, given the depths of his talents are yet to be tested. Admirel, Optimise Prime, Pure Bliss all have 2-2 records over timber and are set to be involved but last month’s Cheltenham scorer MAKE ME A BELIEVER might be able to account for all of them. David Pipe’s charge was defeated only by Bear Ghylls on hurdles bow at Lingfield in October (excellent form) and defied a drop in trip to account for the useful Any News in the Cotswolds five weeks ago. He looks promising and 2m5f should be ideal for Tom Scudamore’s mount.
Selection: Make Me A Believer @
3.00 – McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 3m5½f)
A wide open instalment of the Classic Chase over just shy of three-and-three-quarter miles. Captain Chaos set a strong gallop last year and finished second to impressive winner Kimberlite Candy. He’s not been in the same form this season but could bounce back for the Skelton brothers.
Achille is one to keep note of despite a long layoff for Venetia Williams but LE BREUIL is a strong stayer and hinted he’s coming back to form with his Becher Chase third last time. He’s had a wind op since and is rated 8lb lower than when fifth in this last year. He’s in much better heart now and has a key role to play for trainer Ben Pauling.
Selection: Le Breuil @
3.35 – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3m1f)
Come On Teddy’s Cheltenham win last month came at the expense of subsequent Grade 2 runner-up On The Blind Side. A 7lb rise in the ratings isn’t certain to ground Tom George’s runner here. MR HARP twice ran well behind the very promising Barbados Buck’s at Southwell prior to a landing a Uttoxeter handicap (2m7½f, heavy) a week before Christmas. He’s up 8lb but can improve again and represents some value at double-figure odds.
Selection: Mr Harp @
4.05 – Here Comes McCoy ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (2m)
None of these have raced before so the betting will be informative. Two that stand out are GOLD BULLION and Code Name Lise, having cost €90,000/€85,000 respectively. Paul Nicholls’ team are flying and his recent record in bumpers is very strong, so his gelding may be able get the better of the mare.
Selection: Gold Bullion @
*All odds correct at time of writing