Good crowds see in the new jumps season at Warwick Racecourse
THERE was a good crowd for both days of Warwick's new jumps season on Monday and Tuesday and they got off to the best possible start when First Street, the even money favourite, took the opening race of the meeting, writes David Hucker.
Van Meegeren led the runners for much of the two miles and five furlongs of the MansionBet Proud To Support British Racing Novices' Hurdle, but First Street, the choice from four entries for Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson, went past him at the penultimate flight and came away to score a comfortable success from The Brimming Water who ran on to snatch second place.
Favourite backers looked to be in with a chance of doubling up in the following MansionBet Bet £10 Get £20 Novices' Handicap Hurdle as Onehundredpercent led into the home straight, but he was collared at the final flight by bottom-weight Lady Reset who followed up her Stratford success.
Vision Des Flos put in a faultless round of jumping to lead his rivals a merry dance in the feature Class 3 MansionBet Faller Insurance Handicap Chase.
Both runner-up Pink Eyed Pedro and third-placed Zoffee made mistakes down the back straight, but neither could land a blow on the winner.
An Tailliur defied a career-high mark to land a four-timer in the Follow @mansionbet On Twitter Handicap Hurdle, becoming the third winning favourite of the day.
Coming to join Faint Hope at the final flight, he asserted on the run-in to win a shade cosily by one and a quarter lengths with the slow-starting Seaborough in third.
Last year's winner Go As You Please, carrying top weight of 11-12, had just taken the lead in the MansionBet Watch and Bet Handicap Chase only to land awkwardly over the last fence, but he had just enough in hand to see off the renewed challenge of Royal Plaza on the run-in.
To end day one, Presenting Yeats led into the home straight in the long-distance hurdle and just held off Not At Present in a thrilling battle from the last flight to score by three-quarters of a length.
Well-backed 11-8 favourite Cobblers Dream kicked off day two of the meeting when leading at the penultimate flight to land the Poundland Foundation Supports Make-A-Wish UK Novices' Hurdle in fine style from GMS Prince and All Clenched Up to get punters off to another good start.
With You Say Nothing being withdrawn after bolting on the way to the start, just three runners remained in the Poundland Foundation Proudly Supports Tommy's Novices' Handicap Chase, but it still proved to be a good race with Sir Tivo, who has been in excellent form during the summer, getting the better of Away At Dawn after the two had jumped the last fence in unison.
Winning trainer Gary Hanmer was hoping for a quick double with Isthebaropen in the following Mares' Handicap Hurdle and, with Jessica Rabbit and Persuer both losing their jockey when Crystal Gazing caused mayhem when running out at half-way, Isthebaropen had a fairly simple task to score again.
Sean Bowen came in for the mount on Haul Away in the longest race of the afternoon, the Class 3 Logicor Handicap Chase over three-and-a-quarter miles, after Nico de Boinville was stood down from riding following Crystal Gazing's mishap and Haul Away made every yard of the running, battling on bravely to deny hat-trick seeking Quartz Du Rheu to record his fourth win of the season.
Just denied with Quartz Du Rheu, trainer Jonjo O'Neill and jockey Kevin Brogan hit the target with Pens Man in the following Happy 50th Birthday Julian Watson Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase before newcomer Betty's Belle, backed from 15-2 in to 7-2, took the concluding Flat Race.
Racing returns to the course next Thursday (30th September) with the first race due off at 1pm.