Stylish One More Fleurie storms to feature race victory at Sunday's Warwick Racecourse meeting
ONE More Fleurie put up an exhibition round of jumping to land the Stephen Allday Perpetual Plate Novices' Handicap Chase, feature of Warwick's seven-race card on Sunday, writes David Hucker.
A winner over the course in February, One More Fleurie, who was in the lead when falling at Fakenham last time out, had to overcome the burden of 12-3, although jockey Charlie Todd's allowance reduced his weight by 3lbs.
Leading for most of the race, he made one mistake early on, but jumped the rest of the fences immaculately over the three mile trip, running on well to account for The Newest One.
The early morning snow had disappeared by the start of the meeting and there was a short-priced favourite for the opening Join Racing TV Now Maiden Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs in the shape of Onagatheringstorm, runner-up to The Edgar Wallace at Uttoxeter on his last start.
Always close up, he was sent on by Paddy Brennan at the first flight down the back straight and, although 40-1 outsider Fat Sam made him pull out all the stops, Onagatheringstorm stayed on the stronger at the end.
The win edged trainer Fergal O'Brien nearer to a maiden century of winners, needing five more in the final two weeks of the season.
The stewards looked into the running of second favourite Rapid Flight, backed from 4-1 into 5-2, who weakened after leading early on, only to run on again into third.
Favourite backers collected again in the following Watch On Racing TV Novices' Hurdle over two miles as Voice Of Calm and Brendan Powell overcame Raffle Ticket right on the line to prevail by a neck.
The two had the race to themselves up the home straight, with the rest, headed by Italian Legend, well strung out.
A field of 13 set out in the Bet At racingtv.com Mares' Handicap Hurdle, with the Charlie Longsdon trained Local Affair sent to the front from the off by Paul O'Brien.
She was still in the lead facing the final two hurdles, but the pack was closing in at the last and it was 9-1 shot Power Home who lived up to her name to score from Sue Be It and Kimberley, with Local Affair fading into fourth.
The day's longest race, the Visit racingtv.com Handicap Chase over three miles and five furlongs, went to Robin Of Sherwood who got the better of High Counsel, who had taken the lead halfway down the back straight, the two locked together jumping the final fence.
Regular visitor to the course Goodnight Charlie could never establish a clear lead and Caroline Fryer's veteran was pulled up by Bridget Andrews on the home turn.
The distance was three miles and two furlongs for the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Hurdle and one who looked sure to stay the trip was Imperial Knight, runner-up to Soyouthinksoagain at Southwell.
He needed every ounce of his stamina, as four came to the last flight with a chance of winning and he just saw off Ask Henry by a length, with Johnny B only a neck away in third.
Revels Hill and Faint Hope served up another close finish in the concluding racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle with the former just getting home by a neck under talented conditional jockey Kevin Brogan.
Held up early on, Heart Of A Lion made late progress into third place, although beaten over 15 lengths by the winner.
Racing returns to the course with Charity Raceday on Thursday, 22nd April.