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Charlie is still off with certain issues beyond our control & we hope to have him back soon, but even that is out of our control! Jamie, Neil & Rich are here….
2:32 – Watch Racing TV Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)
This class 3 handicap hurdle looks to be warm enough race for this grade and should make for interesting viewing. From scanning through the Wetherby card Iroko stands out as a horse who should go close today. Still very unexposed after just three races to date, Iroko was highly tried as a juvenile hurdler running in Grade 1 & 2 events at Chepstow & Kempton respectively. While he finished 4th in both of those top races he was far from disgraced. Iroko made his seasonal reappearance over C&D back in November where he stayed on well to see off one of today’s rivals Foster’sisland by just over a length. Off a mark of 128 there should be more to come as he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. Soft ground does pose a question but being a French bred you’d be hopeful he will be able to cope in the mud. Iroko brings in the strongest form and has a good chance if building on that recent C&D success.
3:00 – Classic Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)
Selection: Lord Du Mesnil
As usual a host of old staying stalwarts line up to contest this race worth £56,950 to the winner. This will be a brutal stamina test and Lord Du Mesnil relishes it when the mud goes flying. Rather surprisingly this will be Lord Du Mesnil’s first attempt at the 3m 5f Classic Chase. After a below par season in 21/22, Lord Du Mesnil was sent to Bangor to make his seasonal reappearance and ran well to finish second to Le Milos, who gave the form a great boost when winning the Coral Trophy at Newbury at the end of November. With the cobwebs blown away I am expecting a big run from my selection today especially as he has slipped down the weights to 11-9. The ground and trip are perfect and I am hoping that the old boy can show the old magic once more.
2.25 Warwick, Hampton Novices’ Chase, 3m, G2.
Just the four in this but it’s usually a race which always has a small field although it does produce good winners from it’s production line.
The mare in the contest Galia Des Liteaux and while many will know doubt expect her to bounce back from her poor Boxing Day run at Kempton in which she was pulled up I’m going for the favourite in the Paul Nicholls trained Complete Unknown.
Last year’s EBF Novice Final winner which had Knappers Hill in it, he made a nice start to the season with a fair fifth in the valuable 3m hurdle at Haydock on Betfair Chase Day before scoring on his chasing debut at Ffos Las just before Christmas, he is up in class here but he should take all the beating at a track where jumping is at a premium.
3.00 Warwick, Classic Chase, 3m5f, Premier Handicap.
This looks a very competitive affair and on heavy ground and i can’t see that many getting round.
In a race of this nature you’ll get plenty at big prices and often it can go to a horse whose unfancied but still has something in them to suggest a win or at least a nice placed effort isn’t off the cards.
One who catches the eye as a potential each-way earner is Grand Mogul from the Devon based yard of Gail Haywood.
He’s the sort of horse I like, very lightly raced with just eleven visits to the racecourse he was originally with Gordon Elliott and won his first ever race, a bumper at Thurles in December 2018, a race in which G1 Chaser Conflated also ran in and he got rid of his jockey in that race!
After that he went to Nicky Henderson and won a couple of races at Chepstow and Kelso then in November he was picked up by Gail Haywood for £11,000.
In December he ran a fair third at Chepstow over 3m in the Welsh National Trial but missed the Welsh National itself and comes to Warwick instead, connections must think he’ll stay the extra distance to give him a crack, I’ve an inkling he could put up a PB for the season.
Kempton – Soft (Still Raining)
2.40 Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle – Class 2 – 4yo+ – 2m 5f…
Hermes Boy – Diamond Boy X Roche Brune 6yo gelding.
1 win from 9 hurdle starts with 5 places in those starts & with some bookie’s offering EXTRA places today, this gelding has a nice chance.
He started this season finishing 5th before a 4 & 1/2 length 4th to Love Envoi, in a Sandown Class 2 Handicap Hurdle, with the winner & 2nd both next time out winners, along with 6th, who has won in this class, that race was on December 6th & his last start was on December 31st at Uttoxeter over 2m 3f, when finishing 2nd to Can You Call over 2m 5f. Up in Trip & bottom of Handicap – EACH WAY.
Wetherby – Soft
3.07 Handicap Chase – Class 4 – 5yo+ – 3m 45yds
East Street – Mones Wells X Serpentine Mine – 7yo gelding.
2 wins & 1 place from 5 hurdle starts but this is his first season chasing & only his 3rd start over the bigger fences. He was 3rd of 4 on chase debut in a Doncaster 2m 3f Class 3 Novice Chase on November 26th before finishing 3rd of 9, 9 & 1/2 lengths behind the winner in a Market Rasen Class 4 Novice Handicap Chase, 2m 5f on Boxing Day. !st time Cheek Pieces – WIN
That’s everything up to date for you folks, thanks for popping by, we all really appreciate it.
Good Luck – The AOLR Team