We hit third place last Saturday with Run To Milan at Sandown. Today, its the Classic Chase at Warwick which looks a competitive chase of interest. A field of 14 out of a maximum 20 has been declared with a tidy £57,000 pot to the winner.
Paul Nicholls returns to Warwick with Threeunderthrufive who only got as far as the first fence at Newbury in the Coral Gold Cup handicap chase. He was well fancied at Newbury sent off an 11/1 shot. That race is a more prestigious premier handicap than the classic chase which offer hope for Threeunderthrufive who carries top weight of 12 stone here. He is a big strapping son of Shantou and will handle the testing ground fine. This horse racked up a four timer over fences as a novice last season including winning a Grade 2 chase at Warick over three miles on soft ground. He jumped to his right and failed to show his best at the Cheltenham festival where unplaced behind L’Homme Presse in the Brown Advisory Novices chase over three miles. Threeunderthrufive is a fresh horse and can show his class against this opposition already proven over this course and a solid jumper usually.
Grumpy Charley impressed when bouncing back to form to win over 3m2f on testing ground at Newbury on New Year's Eve. He jumps well and came through from off the pace to gallop through the line winning better than the official distance of ½ a length. He handles heavy ground well and will relish the extra distance of this race as his trainer Chris Honour stretches him out in distance. Usually, this race suits those that race prominently. That is a concern but this unexposed chaser can take his time and get into a good jumping rhythm in this race as the leaders will come back to them up the long finishing straight over this trip on heavy ground. The handicapper upped Grumpy Charley 6lbs for his latest win which is fine. This race come only 14 days following his run at Newbury but he would not be running unless his trainer believed he came out of Newbury win a fresh horse. Grumpy Charley carries 11-4 here but we know he can carry a big weight as he won last time out carrying 12 stone.
Mr Incredible is a rare runner for Willie Mullins at Warwick. He has switched yards from Henry De Bromhead having lost his way over fences. In the Paddy Power handicap chase at Leopardstown he was brought down at the fourth fence when right out the back. Do not be tempted to back this inconsistent horse until he runs a big race on the track again. He is the favourite because of his trainers name and nothing else! I was tempted by the JP McManus owned French Bred Guetapan Collonges who won a handicap chase here in November. However, while he will love the ground and extra distance, his jumping remains a concern and more so today as he takes a jump in class.
0.5 point each way Threeunderthrufive 8/1 Paddy Power 5 places else 7/1 Skybet 5 places.
0.5 point each way Grumpy Charley 7/1 Paddy Power & Skybet, both 5 places.
Best of Luck, Nicky