Popular May Racing Carnival at Warwick Racecouse to be held without spectators due to Covid-19 restrictions
MONDAY sees the first of four meetings that make up Warwick's May Racing Carnival, but Covid-19 restrictions mean that the large family crowd normally drawn to this popular fixture will be missing again this year, writes David Hucker.
Under the government's coronavirus roadmap, crowds are due to return to racing later in the month and tickets are selling fast for the third meeting of the Carnival, Proudly Warwick Raceday, on Wednesday, 19th.
The new 2021-22 jumps season gets under way this weekend with fixtures at Cheltenham on Friday and Hexham and Uttoxeter on Saturday and champion trainer Paul Nicholls will be going flat out to retain his title, having trained a personal best 176 winners last season.
He has four entries at Warwick, with Grange Road and Tamgho Borget in the opening racingtv.com Maiden Hurdle over three miles and one furlong, although both are also entered at Kempton Park the same afternoon.
On the other hand, this race is the only entry on the day for the Jonjo O'Neill trained Irish point-to-point winner Papa Tango Charly, who deserves a change of luck after going down by just a head on his last run.
Nicholls has Stanley Stanley, well-beaten in all three of her runs, in the following Join Racing TV Now Mares' “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle over two miles who would need to improve to take this.
Dual bumper winner Subway Surf showed her best form so far over jumps when runner-up to Sorbet at Market Rasen earlier this month and Charlie Longsdon's Glimpse Of Gala would be dropping back in class after being unplaced at Aintree last time.
Cheshire trainer Donald McCain has two entries in the Watch On Racing TV Novices' Handicap Chase over two miles in the shape of top-weight Away At Dawn and the consistent Presentandcounting.
Tom Lacey has entered Hazzaar, who would be having his second run after wind surgery, and this left-hand track should suit him better than when second at Exeter last time out.
There is a massive entry of 34 for the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Hurdle over three miles and one furlong and, again, a big entry in the following Visit racingtv.com Handicap Chase over two and a half miles where amongst the 20 possibles is Diligent, who has rattled up a hat-trick of wide-margin wins this month, but has taken a hike in the weights as a result.
Nicholls' fourth entry is Light In The Sky, still looking for a first win over jumps after four attempts, in the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle over two miles, but course winner Champagne City would seem a better option despite his large weight.
The racingtv.com Mares' Handicap Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs, which brings the curtain down on the afternoon at 5.30pm, has five entries from Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson.