The Classic Chase is the feature at Warwick on a busy Saturday where the Star on-course team will be at Kempton for the Lanzarote Hurdle. A Simon Nott betting blog will follow shortly after the final race.
I’ve landed on four selections across the country in the hopes of repeating my 12/1 success from New Year’s Day.
Be sure to take advantage of our ‘All Over The Place’ Offer for the Classic Chase which provides you with your money back as a free bet if your horse is unplaced but finishes the course.
1.49 Warwick – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier) (Class 2) 3m1f
Mel Monroe is a horse that caught my eye at the initial entry stage. The Walk In The Park mare was a striking purchase after a 10 length victory in an Irish Point and has had 6 runs for the Cullentra House stable.
The highlight of her winter campaign was an impressive 2nd-place effort at the Cheltenham Showcase meeting where she was simply outclassed after the last flight in a novice hurdle by the former McConnell stable star Encanto Bruno. Although the 3rd that day hasn’t been seen since, the 4th of Nigel Twiston Davies’ yard won in great fashion at Warwick in November.
She was next seen running 2nd in a Grade 3 at Navan when beaten just over 3 lengths to Croke Park. The third that day, Search For Glory, went on to win a Grade 3 subsequently and was beaten a couple of lengths in a Grade 2 on Boxing Day.
The heavy ground may not have been to her liking on her most recent outing in a Listed Hurdle against her own sex and I expect Sam Ewing to ride her prominently once again and make the most of a mark of 132. Gordon Elliott trained the third in the race last year and has previously ran Sire Du Berlais twice in it before heading to the festival.
3.00 Warwick – Wigley Group Classic Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (Class 1) 3m5f
Warwick’s showpiece Classic Chase sees a fair field of 14 heading to post with the singular Irish raider Malina Girl heading the market at 4/1. She was introduced to fences with a busy campaign in 2022 that saw her soar to a mark of 128 from 105 and I think she’s still on the up.
Trainer Gavin Cromwell has picked up a magnificent £238,462 in earnings from 31 runners at British jumps tracks this season which is even more staggering when you consider he’s only had 8 winners. He’s relished the opportunity to make the most of travelling to big races over here and it looks as if Malina Girl ticks all the boxes to further increase those earnings.
She was a runaway winner of the big stayers’ handicap chase at the November meeting off 135 when she proved on the racecourse what connections must’ve seen in her at home to run in the Scottish National last season. Off just 6lbs higher once Conor Stone-Walsh’s claim is considered, I see no reason to oppose her on Saturday.
You can write off the big F in her form last time when she was travelling supremely well and trading at a fairly short price in running when she fell at the third last. Her fall that day was a puzzling one as it looked as if she jumped the fence well enough on the outside of Threeunderthrufive before her front legs seemed to slip backward after landing. Although she can sometimes meet her obstacles low and quick, her jumping was never a concern throughout that race and there’s no reason to suggest it would be a worry at Warwick.
Be sure to take advantage of our ‘All Over The Place’ Offer for this race which provides you with your MONEY BACK AS A FREE BET if your horse is unplaced but finishes the course.
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1.30 Kempton – New Bet-In-Race With Coral Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m
Chianti Classico at 11/4 is a very fair price for a horse who has consistently stepped up to nearly every mission he’s been handed. With 6 wins under rules from 9 runs, chasing has always been his long term assignment. With that said, his hurdling campaign last season generated a remarkable 3 wins with the highlight being a victory over Nicholls’ Henri The Second who went on to win a Grade 2 at Sandown.
He made light work of an opening chase mark of 133 at Chepstow in October and stayed on stoutly to win at Ascot most recently. A rise of only 1lb for that effort seems more than fair and the booking of Harry Cobden is an obvious eyecatcher with regular pilot David Bass occupied at Wetherby. I think there’s a lot more to come from this Shantou gelding.
2.50 Wetherby – William Hill Pick Your Places Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 2m4f
Santos Blue first piqued my interest when he ran an eyecatching 2nd at Aintree on Old Roan Day in a handicap hurdle over 20f. He was held up virtually in last throughout the whole race and when asked for an effort, picked up extremely well as they went past the omitted final hurdle. It was at this point that Ben Sutton dropped his whip and although Crambo went on to score nicely that day, it surely would’ve been by less than the eventual 2 lengths with a more vigorous ride. Mr Sutton’s family own the horse in question so it’s totally understandable that he always retains the ride.
Santos Blue re-opposed Crambo with some more prominent riding tactics in Haydock’s big stayers’ handicap hurdle on Betfair Chase day when he looked to have every chance approaching the 3rd last before his stamina was put to the test and faded to finish 7th.
His most recent run at Wetherby was a slight eyebrow raiser as he went off a 5/4 favourite and looked beat at the last but plugged on for 2nd behind a British debutant for Olly Murphy who ran five times for Gordon Elliott. I’m hoping a step down in trip to 19.5f will help him with his tendency to travel strongly throughout a race before underwhelming his backers.
BACK Mel Monroe to win the 1.49 at Warwick 1pt at 11/2 (⭐
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BACK Malina Girl to win the 3:00 at Warwick 1pt at 4/1 (⭐
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BACK Chianti Classico to win the 1.30 at Kempton 2pts at 5/2 (⭐
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BACK Santos Blue to win the 2.50 at Wetherby 1ptss at 7/2 (⭐
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