After the battering from Storm Doris the day before, blue sky and sunshine greeted racegoers at Warwick last Friday and they were treated to a real thriller in the feature 188Bet Budbrooke Handicap Chase with less than a length separating the first three home, writes David Hucker.
Course winner Doitforthevillage, who was seeking his fifth success of the season, looked to be in with a good chance of lifting the prize until clouting the fourth-last fence and, although Paddy Brennan got him back on an even keel, the loss of momentum allowed top-weight Dresden to throw down a challenge.
Stalking the front two was No Buts and he proved the stronger of the trio on the run-in to deny Dresden by a neck with Doitforthevillage, who went off the 2-1 favourite, the same distance away in third.
Money talked in the opening 188Bet.co.uk EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier), as Global Stage, who had run with promise behind Cheltenham Festival bound Finian’s Oscar in the Grade 1 Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown Park, was replaced at the head of the betting market by Coo Star Sivola, a Listed race winner at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
The two disputed the lead to the first flight where Coo Star Sivola and Lizzie Kelly went on and the pair were never headed from then on, making the rest of the running to turn the two miles and three furlongs contest into a procession.
Night Of Sin, who pulled hard going to the start, was made the 7-4 favourite to give Kelly and trainer Nick Williams a double in the following Download The App At 188Bet Juvenile Hurdle and front-running tactics again paid off, as they had enough in reserve to repel the challenge of Landin and score by one-and-a-quarter lengths.
Favourite backers knew their fate early on in the Follow Us On Twitter At 188Bet Novices’ Handicap Chase when Knight Ofthe Realm crashed out at the third fence, but the rest of the field stayed pretty tightly grouped for the remainder of the opening circuit.
After passing the post for the first time, it was Bacchanel and Bassarabad who began to apply the pressure, gradually seeing off their rivals until just the two were left in contention turning for home.
At the line, only a length separated them at the end of the three-mile trip, with 5-1 shot Bassarabad running on strongly to score for conditional jockey Alan Johns and trainer Tim Vaughan.
Eight set out in the concluding National Hunt Flat Race but there was only one horse in it where it mattered, with newcomer Diva Reconce and Mikey Hamill coming right away from their rivals for a seven-length success.