Harry Allwood kept a close eye on the racing action on Racing TV on Saturday and Sunday and selects five horses worth adding to your Racing TV tracker plus believes we may have seen the 2020 Grand National winner in action at Warwick on Saturday.
Warwick's feature meeting of the year did not disappoint on Saturday with plenty of thrilling finishes and noteworthy performances, and I was impressed with Kimberlite Candy’s success in the Classic Chase.
The way he powered home after the last suggests he will have no problem staying the Grand National trip and has proven he handles the National course having finished second in the Becher Chase on his seasonal debut.
I was surprised to see Tom Lacey’s eight-year-old was still available at 25-1 for the Aintree feature in April and have backed him ante-post.
Lacey provided a positive update on Kimberlite Candy on Luck On Sunday (which you can watch again here) and suggested the J P McManus-owned gelding will head straight to Liverpool to hopefully follow in the footsteps of One for Arthur who landed the Grade Three contest in 2017 prior to winning the National.
Watch a full replay of Warwick's Classic Chase
Le Breuil also shaped encouragingly having been hampered in the early stages and last year's National Hunt Chase winner probably found the track too sharp. He is a thorough stayer and the National test will be ideal for him, so the 50-1 available with Bet365 looks big.
Never Adapt may have raced keenly throughout the race, but that did not stop her from winning the finale at Kempton with plenty to spare on Saturday.
It was no surprise to see her shortened for the Betfair Hurdle in February - which she is now a best-priced 10-1 for - and she looks a useful horse in the making, especially when she learns to settle, and a big field in a race like the Newbury feature should help her do that.
Angus McNae and John O'Connell analysed all the key races from the past few days in The Verdict on Racing TV on Monday which is available to watch on racingtv.com here.
Here are five that caught the eye in defeat and are worth adding to your Racing TV tracker.
This four-year-old scored on his first start for Michael Appleby at Wolverhampton in December and almost recorded his second victory for the Oakham handler at Chelmsford on Saturday wearing a hood for the first time.
He was a shade outpaced turning into the home straight but stayed on nicely to finish a never-nearer second behind the winner who got first run.
He ran disappointingly back at Wolverhampton in between those two starts where he finished last of 11 runners, but that run was too bad to be true and his jockey reported the colt hung right, so something was presumably amiss.
I would not be surprised if he stepped up in trip by a furlong or two given the way he stayed on here and this French recruit ought the be back in the winners’ enclosure soon, especially if the hood has the same effect again which connections are likely to leave on.
Gowiththeflow has always been held in high regard having been thought good enough to run in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in 2018.
Ben Pauling’s charge disappointed on his seasonal debut at Newbury in December but looked badly in need of the run having been off the track for 222 days and raced prominently before weakening quickly.
This was a much-improved performance from the seven-year-old who was gaining on Erick Le Rouge after the last and would have probably won in a few more strides.
The winner is now unbeaten in three starts at Kempton and is a useful performer on his day plus was given a good ride by Lizzie Kelly, so Gowiththeflow’s effort can be marked up, especially as the pair pulled 12 lengths clear of the third.
The handicapper will probably raise him at least a couple of pounds for this effort, but the lightly-raced gelding should be capable of landing a similar contest this season with the likelihood of more to come over the larger obstacles.
Horse: SIRE DU BERLAIS
Gordon Elliott’s eight-year-old enjoyed his finest hour when narrowly winning the Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival last season and qualified for the race again when fourth in the series qualifier at Warwick on Saturday.
Held up in rear, Sire Du Berlais was hampered by a faller at the second and crept into contention on the final circuit before finishing a staying-on fourth.
He has not got his head in front since his victory at the Festival but has run three respectable races in defeat this season and is gradually coming down the handicap. The Pertemps Final is likely to have been the plan all season as well.
He was value for more than the winning margin suggests in that contest last year having been hampered at a crucial stage and did well to win under the circumstances.
He is now a best-priced 10-1 to repeat that victory in March and has every chance of becoming the third back-to-back winner of the race.
Horse: WILDFIRE WARRIOR
Here Comes McCoy was too good for his rivals in the bumper at Warwick on Saturday and made a big impression winning on his debut having travelled well and pulled nicely clear in the closing stages.
However, Wildfire Warrior also caught the eye by finishing an encouraging second and found plenty under pressure. The Flemensfirth gelding also travelled well but could not quite match the pace of the winner in the home straight.
His trainer, Philip Hobbs, is now 0-18 in bumpers this season, so it is likely this five-year-old will improve plenty for this effort and is sure to stay further judged by his breeding and the way he shaped.
This looked a useful bumper on paper and has produced some above-average horses in the past – Thebannerkingrebel landed this in 2018 and Paisley Park finished second in the 2017 renewal – so it is always worth keeping an eye on the contenders in the future.
Horse: CAPTAIN GUINNESS
Andy Dufresne got back to winning ways following his shock defeat at Navan on his previous start, but the one to take out of the Moscow Flyer Novices Hurdle looks to be Captain Guinness who was only worn down by Gordon Elliott’s charge in the final 100 yards.
A winner of a maiden hurdle at Navan on debut, the five-year-old raced enthusiastically and Rachael Blackmore was forced to take up the running before the fourth flight of hurdles. He jumped noticeably well throughout the race, but got in close at the last which may have cost him the race.
The was a fine performance from the son of Arakan on just his second start over hurdles and Ruby Walsh also believes Captain Guinness will turn out to be the best horse in the race. He said on Racing TV on Sunday:
“He was very, very keen, which Arakan’s can be, and he ended up getting the better of Rachael Blackmore and getting to the front. He jumped really well barring the last where he was a bit clumsy and gave Andy Dufresne a chance.
“Andy Dufresne showed a lot of guts and determination today, but I’d say if they can get Captain Guinness to settle better and learn to race more accordingly, he could be a hell of a good horse.”
Andy Dufresne remains a best-priced 16-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, while Captain Guinness is now a best-priced 20-1 for the opening race at the Cheltenham Festival having been available at 33-1 before this run.
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