Alcester trainer Dan Skelton looks to boost tally at Warwick Racecourse's Charity Raceday
LEADING trainer at the course, Dan Skelton continues to fire in the winners in what has been a breakthrough season for his highly successful Alcester stable and Supremely Lucky, ridden by Bridget Andrews, could add to his tally in the Class 3 South West Syndicate Handicap Hurdle, highlight of Warwick's Charity Raceday on Thursday, writes David Hucker.
A winner over the course over three-and-a-quarter miles in February, Supremely Lucky drops back a furlong in trip this time and also has to contend with considerably faster ground, but he still looks the one to beat.
Amongst the opposition are two more course winners in Potters Hedger, who is dropping down in class after running at the Cheltenham Festival, and bottom-weight Aimee De Sivola, who returned to form at Newton Abbot last time.
The seven-race card gets under way at 1.00pm with the Join Racing TV Now Maiden Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs for which Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson had entered eight horses, selecting Baron Nelson and Galan Des Planches, who has his first run after wind surgery, as his runners in a ten strong-field.
Neither has shown any form to date and this could be an opportunity for the consistent Sopran Thor to finally get of the mark.
The trip is three miles for the Watch On Racing TV Novices' Handicap Chase in which top-weight Unai, third in all three of his chases, sets the standard. Going Mobile, a winner over a shorter trip at Market Rasen from a rating of 95 could be well-in here off a mark of 92, although his form since has been nowhere near as good.
The lightly-raced Your Darling was a good bumper winner at Newbury in January 2020 and returns after wind surgery in the Visit racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
If the operation has been a success, he could could take this at the expense of Rabski, a winner of a Ffos Las bumper on his racecourse debut in October.
Rabski had shown no form since until running Caddyhill close in a maiden hurdle at Haydock Park last time, but the winner failed to follow up at Newton Abbot last week, so there has to be some doubt over the value of the form.
Darling Du Large was still going well when coming down two fences from home at Stratford in a race won by Cap Auteuil and carries top weight in the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap Chase over two miles.
She is stepping up from novice company and takes on more experienced horses here, including Atlantic Storm, making a quick reappearance after finishing third at Stratford on Sunday, who didn't seem to get home that day after travelling well into the home turn and will appreciate the shorter trip.
High Counsel hasn't won since beating Troubled Soul in a veterans chase here in December 2019 but, with bottom weight to carry and regular rider Alexander Thorne in the saddle, could defy his years in the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Chase over three miles.
Trainer Nicky Henderson had seven entries in the closing racingtv.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, relying on Father John, a winner of his only start at Hexham in June 2019, who returns after wind surgery.
With two-thirds of the runners making their racecourse debut, there is little form to go by, but Hiway One O Three, fourth to Parramount at Stratford, could improve with that experience behind him.
Although Warwick still has four meetings that make up its May Racing Carnival before the summer break, the 2020-21 jumps season comes to an end at Sandown Park on Saturday.
Paul Nicholls, who is on his way to regaining the champion trainer title from Nicky Henderson, equalled his best-ever score of 171 on Monday, despite two months of the season being lost as a result of Covid-19.