King D'argent lands feature Handicap Chase at Warwick Racecourse
KING D’argent and Harry Skelton landed the feature Class3 Bet At racingtv.com Handicap Chase at Warwick on Tuesday on a day when the battle for the jockeys’ championship with Brian Hughes finished all-square with two winners apiece, reports David Hucker.
With Benatar and King D’argent keen to be up with the pace, there was no hanging around over the two-mile trip.
An early mistake put paid to the chances of another regular pace-setter in Fanzio and the well-fancied Generous Day also lost his position when hitting the open ditch down the back straight.
King D’argent, pictured right, took control turning for home and, despite an untidy jump at the second-last fence, he ran out a clear winner.
Favourite backers got off to a good start when Java Point, described by trainer Kim Bailey as a chaser in the making, led approaching the final flight to land the Join Racing TV Now Maiden Hurdle.
The step up in trip to two miles and five furlongs proved no problem and he stayed on well to beat Known by one and three-quarter lengths.
Skelton’s mount Gadjet D’Ainay finished tailed-off and, by the time the runners lined up for the following Watch On Racing TV Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase, Hughes had widened the gap between them to five, with the champion having won two of the first three races at Newcastle.
Punters were confident that Skelton would claw one back as they made Stylish Dancer – a comfortable winner over hurdles at Hereford last time – a solid 5-4 favourite.
She had looked well-weighted running from the same mark of 87 on her chasing debut and, after being held up as Always Able and Quiet Penny set a good pace over the three-mile trip, Stylish Dancer led between the last two fences and strolled away for an easy success.
The Every Race Live On Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Hurdle produced a wide-margin winner in Pour Une Raison, who ran his rivals ragged from the home turn.
Successful at 50-1 in heavy ground at Exeter in November when trained by Richard Mitchell, the horse is now in the care of his son Nick and he relished the better ground, being just too good for runner-up Teenage Dirtbag, who plugged on nine lengths in arrears.
Champagne City sprang a 20-1 surprise when making all the running in the Happy 21st Birthday Tia Harrison Handicap Hurdle.
Three had come to the penultimate flight with a chance of winning, but favourite Givepeaceachance fell, leaving the race between Champagne City and Commander Miller, although the latter was to be denied second place by Clemento.
The Air Wedding Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase was the first of its type that amateur jockeys had been able to ride in this season and Caid Du Berlais was in a different class to his three rivals, winning by 44 lengths.
The closing racingtv.com Maiden Open National Hunt Flat Race had been divided into two, with 25-1 debutant Black Poppy landing the first division in good style.
Sidewaysinmilan made experience count in the second, where there was support for Wilmcote handler Olly Murphy’s debutant Mexican Boy, who finished runner-up and will surely not be long in winning.