Saint Calvados dominates Kingmaker at Warwick

Sat 10 Feb 2018

Saint Calvados handled the step up to Grade Two level with aplomb as he coasted to victory in the Betway Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick.

The five-year-old had scored in two handicaps for Harry Whittington so far this season, but the decision to pitch him into better company reaped rich dividends.

Aidan Coleman was positive from the off aboard the 4-9 favourite and he was soon bowling along in front with only North Hill Harvey even attempting to keep close tabs on him.

However, he paid for those early efforts as Coleman turned up the pace a notch with three to jump, leaving Diego Du Charmil as the only credible challenger in the four-runner race.

Saint Calvados had plenty in reserve though and Coleman only had to give the signal and he surged over the last two fences to register an impressive 22-length verdict.

Coleman said: "He's only five, if that, and he's still improving. He improved a ton from his first run at Newbury to his second and I think he improved again to today. "He's going the right way. He is brilliant and can do everything. He did that really well and I'm very happy.

"Obviously he's passed the test at Newbury and this one today. He'll have to step up again in the Arkle or wherever he goes, but if he keeps doing what he's been doing, he'll be fine.

"Better ground will be no problem to him."

Whittington said: "I'm speechless. It's just fantastic. You can only hope he goes and does it like that. "Aidan says he'll be even better next year, so it's all very exciting.

"It's great for the team at home. Everyone works so hard.

"We had a virus this time last year which was really tough and it's their hard work that has got us to where we are now.

"I said to the owner yesterday he's only five. You just hope he might go and do that. He's so good.

"He's going to be stronger and better next year and the year after. He's got the world at his feet.

"He was foot perfect. Hopefully he'll improve again for another day, hopefully for the Arkle.

"Hopefully we can go there relaxed and try to enjoy it.

"His work rider at home thinks he'll be better on better ground. We'll see."

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