Garry Clermont runs out comfortable winner of feature race at soggy Warwick Racecourse
FAVOURITE Garry Clermont, brought with a well-timed run by Jonjo O'Neill Jr to lead at the last flight, comfortably landed the feature Class 3 Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Hurdle at a soggy Warwick on Saturday, writes David Hucker.
Xcitations and Mick Maestro had led the runners into the home straight for this £10,500 contest over two miles and three furlongs, but Garry Clermont was making steady progress in behind them and, once he hit the front, the race was all over.
Persistent rain leading up to the meeting prompted a lunchtime inspection with standing water on the course causing officials concern.
As a result, the first flight in the home straight was omitted from all hurdle races and the going was very much on the soft side as the runners lined up for the opening racingtv.com Novices' Hurdle over two-and-a-quarter miles.
They finished at wide-margin intervals as odds-on favourite Erne River relished the soft ground, making all the running with Charlie Hammond to follow up his Doncaster win in March and could land the hat-trick next time out.
Sayadam, a winner of his only bumper at Kelso, made a winning hurdles debut in the following Watch Irish Racing On Racing TV “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle over two miles, taking up the running from Mister Watson approaching the final flight and readily putting the race to bed.
Running on for third was Kepy Blanc, backed from 10-1 to 7-1, second on his only start in France and making a pleasing British debut for owner/rider David Maxwell.
“I wanted to get a lead and switch him off and luckily they went a good gallop,” said winning jockey David Bass.
“It was a really good performance in the soft ground for a four-year-old.”
Favourite Rosy World, a winner at the last meeting, and I'm A Starman came to the last flight in the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle locked together, but Pounding Poet was stalking the pair, looking full of running.
With a gap opening up at just the right time, Robbie Dunne drove Pounding Poet between the pair to snatch victory by three-quarters of a length and win with a bit in hand.
With two non-runners, just three set out for the South West Syndicate Mares' Novices' Chase over two-and-a-half miles with Sandymount Rose the odds-on favourite to make a winning debut over fences.
Course winner Liberty Bella brought experience to the table, although she did unseat Robbie Dunne at Cheltenham last time out but, in the end, there was only one horse in it as Sandymount Rose went to the front at the fourth-last fence and was always in control of the race from that point on.
Danilo D'Airy made a mockery of his handicap mark when running and jumping his rivals ragged in the Racing TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase.
Confidently ridden by Jordan Nailor, Danilo D'Airy was carrying 38lbs more than his official rating, but never saw another horse over the three mile trip, fending off the challenge of market leader Max Dynamo who could never land a blow.
The light was fading fast for the concluding racingtv.com Open National Hunt Flat Race and it was Storm Dennis who came out of the gloom to beat Notlongtillmay and make it a 1-2 for Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon.
All tickets have been sold for the third leg of the May Racing Carnival on Wednesday, 19th May although a few private boxes are available (call 01926 405560).
Tickets are still available for the fourth leg, the final meeting of the season, on Wednesday, 26th May and can be booked at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/warwick.