Ratfacemcdougall beats Supremely Lucky in thrilling finish to Warwick Racecourse's feature race on Charity Raceday
IN-FORM Ratfacemcdougall made it a hat-trick of wins when denying top-weight Supremely Lucky by a neck in a thrilling finish to the Class 3 South West Syndicate Handicap Hurdle, highlight of Warwick's Charity Raceday last Thursday, writes David Hucker.
Course winner Potters Hedger, who was dropping down in class after running at the Cheltenham Festival, led the field after the third-last flight, but Ratfacemcdougall was on his tail and took over the running approaching the last, staying on well to repel the late challenge of Supremely Lucky, for whom the post came just a few strides too soon.
Sopran Thor, placed in his last three starts, finally got off the mark in the opening Join Racing TV Now Maiden Hurdle, seeing out the two miles and three furlongs trip well, comfortably holding pace-setting Baron Nelson.
Sent into the lead on the home turn, Sopran Thor looked to have matters well in hand, but the runner-up rallied between the last two flights and Jamie Moore had to keep him up to his work on the run to the line.
Top-weight Unai, third in all three of his chases so far, was always at the front in the Watch On Racing TV Novices' Handicap Chase over three miles and he galloped on strongly with conditional jockey Luca Morgan to see off the persistent challenge of Going Mobile, a winner over a shorter trip at Market Rasen in October and showing his best form since.
With Your Darling an absentee due to the quick ground adding to two other non-runners, the field was reduced to seven for the Visit racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs with the market headed by The Knot Is Tied.
Halfway down the back straight, it was 20-1 outsider Twycross Warrior, trained at Great Alne by Robin Dickin, who struck the front, but he couldn't maintain his advantage, being passed jumping the penultimate flight by Jaisalmer, who sprinted away in the hands of Jack Tudor for an emphatic success.
Larch Hill, owned and trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by his son Sam, won his first race for two years when landing the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap Chase from Atlantic Storm and Darling Du Large.
Run at a good pace with the lead changing hands several times, Larch Hill was in the clear approaching the final fence, running out a five-length winner.
High Counsel hadn't won since beating Lord In Red here in January last year but, with bottom weight to carry and regular rider Alexander Thorne in the saddle, he rolled back the years, leading over the final fence to land the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Chase.
Newcomer Revasser, ridden by Bryony Frost, became the fifth winner of the season at the course for Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham when holding the challenge of Dalamoi in the closing racingtv.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Although Warwick still has four meetings that make up its May Racing Carnival before the summer break, the 2020-21 jumps season came to an end at Sandown Park on Saturday, with Paul Nicholls regaining the trainers title from Nicky Henderson and Warwickshire-based Harry Skelton crowned champion jockey for the first time.