For Pleasure and Edwardstone to lock horns once again at Warwick Racecourse
WEDNESDAY sees the second meeting of the month at Warwick with the Class 3 Highflyer Bloodstock Novices' Chase one of seven races that get under way at noon, writes David Hucker.
Originally restricted to four-year-olds, the race was opened up to improve the field sizes, but there were only five runners in 2019 and just three went to post last year, the race being won by outsider Phoenix Way.
This year's race sees a rematch between For Pleaure and Edwardstone, who both failed to finish in the Jewson Stan Mellor Memorial Novices' Chase at the last meeting.
Edwardstone, who was sent off favourite that day, was travelling well down the back straight on his chasing debut, but had nowhere to go when the front-running For Pleasure fell in front of him at the fourth-last fence.
Useful juvenile hurdler Stepney Causeway receives 8lbs from his four rivals and can make a bold show for trainer Dan Skelton, who was in double-winning form at Cheltenham on Sunday.
Most valuable race of the afternoon is the £30,000 John Sumner Memorial Veterans' Handicap Chase (Leg 10 Of The Veterans' Chase Series) over a trip of three miles in which Potters Legend seeks to repeat his win of last year from a 5lb higher mark.
He was tailed off on his last run at Aintree in May and comes here a fresh horse whereas Vintage Clouds, fifth last year, had a run at Kelso last month.
Trainer Sue Smith landed the valuable Paddy Power Gold Cup at the weekend and, with Harry Skelton taking the ride, Vintage Clouds could come out on top this time.
First up is the Olly Murphy Racing "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle over two miles and the Wilmcote trainer saddles Let's Have Another, jointly owned by his father Aiden and former football manager Harry Redknapp.
Of particular interest is Hartur D'Oudairies, a winner of his only race in France, and now making his British debut for owner J P McManus and Dan Skelton.
Roseisaroseisarose was runner-up to Isthebaropen over hurdles here in September, but is experienced over fences and looks attractively-weighted for trainer Katy Price in the Start Your RacingTV Free Trial Now Mares' Novices' Handicap Chase.
Irish point-to-point winner Queens River could be another winner for J P McManus in the Amy Towers Memorial Mares' Novices' Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, she would not have to be out of the ordinary to win here, although faces another from the Irish point-to-point field in the shape of West Balboa.
Olly Murphy runs two in the Jumps At Home With Free Racing TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle with Fergus Gregory on Fakenham winner Italian Spirit, making his handicap debut, and Salley Gardens, the mount of Daire Davis, who has ridden two winners on the flat in Ireland.
Down at the bottom of the handicap is the three-year-old Knotty Ash, one of the many horses running under the Owners Group banner, who will be ridden by Katie O'Farrell.
Just three of the ten runners in the concluding David Nicholson Memorial Fillies' 'Junior' Open NH Flat Race have racecourse experience although, in the case of There's My Filly, it didn't amount to much as she unseated Tom O'Brien at the start at Exeter in the race won by Eel Pie Island.