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Lilly lands feature after close contest

IT was Four-Legged Friend Day at Warwick on Sunday and, out on the track, 12/1 shot Well Dick, ridden by Lilly Pinchin, landed the feature £18,000 Volcano Handicap Chase in a thrilling finish from Bretney, reports David Hucker.

Run over three miles and five furlongs the race celebrates the popular grey Volcano, who won five times around the course, including last year’s running of this contest and, just like him, Well Dick was always at the front, just holding Bretney at bay by the minimum margin of a nose, with Gerico Ville, the only other finisher, a further 26 lengths away.

Punters had got off to the best possible start when 8/13 favourite Billytherealbigred made all the running to take the Pony Racing Authority Graduates Handicap Hurdle for conditional jockeys and amateur riders that had ridden in PRA Pony Races.

Well Dick leads Bretney over the last in the Volcano Handicap Chase at Warwick. Photo: David Pratt
Well Dick leads Bretney over the last in the Volcano Handicap Chase at Warwick. Photo: David Pratt

Despite a couple of errors, he came home unchallenged in the hands of Toby Wynne to win by 39 lengths and initiate a double for trainers Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero who followed up in the £15,000 EBF Mares’ Novices’ Chase with another odds-on favourite in Anti Bridgie who made virtually all the running to beat Lime Drop.

Despite a big field of 13, there was another well-backed favourite in the Country Shows Agility Novices’ Hurdle in the shape of King Of Tara who disposed Tactical Affair, formerly trained by Gordon Elliott in Ireland, but now with Lambourn-based Warren Greatrex, at the head of the market. The two dominated the race with hurdling debutant King Of Tara proving the stronger on the run-in.

Bryony Frost has announced that she is looking at opportunities to ride in France as well as in the UK and she showed just why she should be in demand there when bringing El Saviour, who overcame a mistake at the fourth-last flight, home to take the Hazelton Mountford Insurance Brokers Handicap Hurdle.

On a good afternoon for female jockeys, Lucy Gardner, riding for her mother Sue, hit the front in the home straight on Astronomic View and turned the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Hurdle into a procession, winning by 21 lengths from My Bobby Dazzler.

As usual, there was little form to go on in the closing Olly Murphy Racing Open National Hunt Flat Race and it was one of the newcomers, Good And Clever, who came out on top, becoming yet another wide-margin winner beating favourite Les’s Destiny Star by 12 lengths.

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