Zambella looking to follow up Bangor success at Warwick Racecourse
ZAMBELLA, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, bids to follow up her Bangor-on-Dee win last time in the Wigley Group Lady Godiva Mares’ Novices’ Chase, feature of Warwick’s seven-race card tomorrow, Thursday, writes David Hucker.
Twice a winner over hurdles in France, Zambella failed to add to her record in four starts since joining the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable last season, but made a winning debut over fences at Bangor-on-Dee by beating Stormy Ireland.
Legends Gold was still in the lead when falling at the penultimate fence at Uttoxeter last month, but had jumped to the right when making a winning chasing debut at Ffos Las and the five fences down the back straight will expose any flaws here. Pink Legend, winner of her only start over fences, may be the one to give Zambella most to do in an intriguing contest.
Ambassador, placed twice in five races on the flat when trained by Richard Fahey, makes his debut for Dan Skelton in the opening Wigley Group Merry Christmas Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, due off at 12.22pm.
He could face stiff competition from Dreaming Blue, a winner over a mile-and-a-half at Wolverhampton on his latest start in August when also trained by Richard Fahey, and now with Anthony Honeyball. Another for the shortlist is Hope You Do, a bumper winner in France and running in the familiar colours of J P McManus.
Eighteen will line up for the Wigley Group Support Our SMES Maiden Hurdle in which champion trainer Nicky Henderson runs two of his three entries with stable jockey Nico de Boinville on Patroclus, odds-on favourite when runner-up in an Irish point-to-point in March.
Henderson’s stable has been going through a quiet spell, failing to hit the target with their last 12 runners up to racing on Tuesday, and it may pay to take a chance with Cape Milano, who stayed on well on his only start in a Sandown bumper last year. Although a winner five times over hurdles, Tidal Watch has failed to score in ten races over fences and may find Don’t Shout and King D’argent, both making their chasing debuts, too hot to handle in the Wigley Building & Development Novices’ Handicap Chase over two miles.
There is a big field of 20 runners for the Wigley Group Thank You Key Workers Handicap Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs and, in an open-looking contest, Somekindofstar could reward each-way support.
Longest race of the afternoon is the Wigley Support Fund Handicap Chase over three miles and the veteran Goodnight Charlie, a regular visitor to the course, carries top weight. She is 5lbs lower than when recording her last win at Cheltenham in April 2019 and will be the one to catch, but recent Ludlow winner Volcano, whose trainer Sheila Lewis is having a season to remember, may prove too strong at the end.
There’s another big line-up for the closing Wigley Group Daimler Powerhouse Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race and, with little form to go on, the betting should prove a useful guide. One with experience is Mexico, who failed by only a neck to make a winning debut at Bangor-on-Dee.