A seven-race jumps card takes place at Warwick (12.20pm-3.50pm) on Wednesday afternoon with some exciting novice contests alongside a Veterans’ Handicap Chase as the feature at 3.15pm.
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12.20 – Racing TV Free For A Month ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle (2m)
It was an impressive front-running display from TWOMINUTES TURKISH last month on his hurdling bow and Chris Gordon’s charge ran his rivals ragged. He had clearly been showing promise at home as he was second choice in the betting and is fancied to build on that under his penalty and make it 2-2 now. Dan Skelton’s Ayr runner-up Cadzand and Colin Tizzard’s newcomer Guy De Guye are the most likely dangers.
Selection: Twominutes Turkish –
12.55 – Start Your Racing TV Free Trial Now Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase (2m4f)
Newton Abbot winner Arian is likely to go well again on her second start for Philip Hobbs and has clear scope to add to her tally, despite a 7lb increase. She does, however, do her best work on testing ground and might not get things as soft as desired here. NIKAP is an alternative, having raced too keenly on her chasing bow at Ffos Las (2m3½f, heavy) last month. She may have sharpened her jumping from that run too and makes her handicap bow from a workable mark.
Selection: Nikap –
1.30 – Try Racing TV For Free Now Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (2m5f)
The Glancing Queen merits a good chunk of respect on her first start over hurdles for Alan King. She was very promising in bumpers, twice contesting the Champion at Cheltenham, and strong market support would be noted. This isn’t straightforward, however, and ALPHA CARINAE is a big player. She won at Perth on her hurdles bow in September and then went down fighting in a good Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Market Rasen last month behind Aggy With It, who has won again since.
Selection: Alpha Carinae –
2.05 – Highflyer Bloodstock Novices’ Chase (2m)
With just three runners, this is a wide open race between them. Stratagem cost €260,000 after winning in France and scored at the second time of asking for Paul Nicholls at Kelso in February. His reappearance at Cheltenham last month was underwhelming but he has a future over fences. Phoenix Way should be winning soon but two miles looks on the sharp side (three-mile hurdles winner at Huntingdon when last spotted) and so QUICK GRABIM earns the nod. The former Willie Mullins inmate – a Grade 1-winning novice hurdler – made a bright enough start to his chasing career when second behind Fusil Raffles at Uttoxeter in September and may go one better.
Selection: Quick Grabim –
2.40 – Jumps At Home With Free Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (2m3f)
STAR OF RORY was far from disgraced as a 100/1 chance on his seasonal return at Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting last month and the slightly softer going as well as a lowering of his sights ought to see the top-weight firmly in the mix here.
Selection: Star Of Rory –
3.15 – racingtv.com Veterans’ Handicap Chase (3m)
Strong Pursuit is low mileage for one running in a Veterans’ Handicap, his career chequered by absences. He could hold excellent claims if ready to go after 10 months out. Present Man has already landed one of these at Chepstow (and run well since in a competitive Wincanton heat), so he should be thereabouts under Bryony Frost. However, the talented VALTOR can score on his first outing in this sphere. He faded in an Ascot Grade 3 handicap on his comeback but is in calmer waters now and is preferred to his quirky stablemate Gold Present.
Selection: Valtor –
3.50 – David Nicholson Memorial Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (1m6f)
Form is thin on the ground in the closing race so this should go to a newcomer and the market will be a vital aid. Authorized Pursuit should do well for the Skelton team but EAGLE’S FIRST makes solid appeal and represents a Neil Mulholland yard with a 36 per-cent strike-rate in bumpers over the last 12 months. She is likely to go well under the former champion jockey.
Selection: Eagle’s First –
*All odds correct at time of writing