Warwick’s season came to an end on Wednesday evening with the final leg of the Qatar Airways May Racing Carnival and it was Alltimegold and Connor Brace who came out on top in the feature Hook Norton Brewery Handicap Chase, writes David Hucker.
Although there were only six runners in the opening David “Digger” Aldred Memorial “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle, it featured the unbeaten Longhouse Sale aiming to make it six wins in a row for owners Paul and Clare Rooney.
Lining up against him were Golden Taipan and Buck’s Bin’s, who were separated by two lengths when they met over the course at the beginning of the month.
After a slow start when nobody wanted to make the running, it was Paddy Brennan who seized the initiative on Golden Taipan and they towed the field along until the second-last flight where Longhouse Sale, who had travelled strongly for Harry Skelton throughout, jumped to the front.
Without needing to engage top gear, Longhouse Sale came right away in the style of a smart horse to get favourite backers off to a good start.
Dan and Harry Skelton were represented by another odds-on favourite in the shape of Present Ranger in the following #proudland Novices’ Hurdle and, as the only winner in the race, he was set to concede 6lb to his rivals.
Present Ranger had made all the running to score easily at Market Rasen and Skelton repeated the tactics here, the pair going well clear on the turn for home to win unchallenged from Somekindofstar.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson was out of luck with his rides at Newton Abbot in the afternoon but his journey up the M5 to Warwick was rewarded when The Manuscript, who had taken up the running at the start of the back straight, fought off the persistent challenge of Definately Vinnie to land the Close Brothers Business Finance Novices’ Handicap Chase.
The winners keep coming for the Skelton brothers and So Lonely made it three on the card when challenging course winner Shufoog approaching the final flight and scooting clear to take the Qatar Airways Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
For Harry, who finished runner-up in last season’s jockeys championship, the evening got even better as Global Domination, trained by Caroline Bailey, made it winner number four when comfortably landing the Close Brothers Business Finance Handicap Chase from Cnoc Sion.
Three Colours and Morgan Winstone brought another successful season to a close when taking the longest race of the evening, the Agetur UK Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle over three-and-a-quarter miles.
It all starts again at the track with a double-header on September 23 and 24.