Top weight Barrichello holds of fast-finishing Good Risk At All to claim victory in Warwick's feature race
THE Donald McCain-trained Barrichello defied top-weight in Warwick's feature Class 3 Try Racing TV For Free Now Handicap Hurdle on Sunday afternoon, holding on in the run to the line to deny the fast-finishing Good Risk At All, writes David Hucker.
The only ride of the afternoon for this season's leading jockey Brian Hughes, Barrichello made his first run in a handicap a winning one, although there was just a neck in it at the finish.
Third-placed Washington lost his chance with a mistake at the penultimate flight and Lydford, who was up with the pace for much of the race, faded in the home straight to finish fourth.
There was a red-hot favourite in the opening racingtv.com/freemonth Juvenile Hurdle over two miles in the shape of Saint Segal, a winner at Bangor-on-Dee and runner-up in the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow last time.
He duly obliged, making all the running in the hands of Chester Williams to beat hurdling debutant Hasty Parisian by three lengths, following which his odds were cut by Paddy Power from 33-1 to 20-1 for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Jaramillo was running a good race until falling at the penultimate flight and Thunder Ahead, the choice from three entries for trainer Alan King, was always prominent until fading in the closing stages to finish third.
Give Me A Moment was a well-backed 11-8 favourite to follow up his Catterick win in the Watch RacingTV With Free Trial Now Novices' Handicap Chase, although there was also money for Fearless from the Olly Murphy stable.
Ballinsker made the running, tracked by Give Me A Moment but, with the favourite making a bad mistake six fences from home, it was 10-1 shot Fantastic Lady, the selection from three entries by trainer Nicky Henderson, who came through to lead at the final fence and beat Ballinsker by six lengths to give jockey James Bowen his first winner at Warwick in 1,109 days.
Nextdoortoalice, who was sent off the 11-8 favourite, cut out the running in the Ian Duckham's 70th Birthday Celebration Mares' "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle accompanied by Ballybough Mary, but they had no answer to the finishing kick of Theatre Glory, who went to the front jumping the final flight and scooted clear on the run-in to bring up a double for Henderson and Bowen.
Course regular Goodnight Charlie set out to make all the running in the longest race of the afternoon, the Start Your RacingTV Free Trial Now Handicap Chase, but had Frisco Bay for company, with Dhowin close up in third.
It was Dhowin who went into a clear lead down the back straight and looked the likely winner turning for home, but his stride shortened after jumping the last fence and, in another tight finish, he was caught close home by 8-1 shot Smuggler's Blues.
As the light faded, Izzie Marshall rode the perfect race from the front to take the concluding Willoughby de Broke Open Hunters' Chase on Reikers Island, having five lengths to spare over Moratorium.
Paddy Power introduced the winner at 20-1 in the betting for Cheltenham's St James's Place Hunters' Chase.