Betfred Classic Chase – Race Preview
Saturday sees the annual running of the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick. Run over a distance of three miles and five furlongs, the Classic Chase is a Grade 3 event and is often used as a prep race for the Aintree Grand National. With forecast heavy ground, Saturday’s race looks set to be a gruelling affair for the 15 declared runners
The current ante-post favourite is the Alan King trained Sego Success. Set to carry top weight, Sego Success bounced back from a disappointing run at Cheltenham in November to land a competitive chase over three miles at Doncaster in mid December. King has won the race twice previously and at only eight-years old, Sego Success could well make it a third victory for the trainer.
King also trains the current ante-post second favourite Midnight Prayer, who missed the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow earlier this month after a slight set back. A winner over 4 miles at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014, Midnight Prayer should have no issue with Saturday’s trip and should run a solid race if over his issue that caused his Chepstow absence.
Paul Nicholls trained the winner of the race last year and he is represented this season by Vivaldi Collonges. A useful hurdler, Vivaldi Collonges eventually got his head in front over fences at the third time of asking when taking a heavy ground contest at Kelso over two miles and seven furlongs. Up 8lbs for that Kelso success, the handicapper may have the measure of Vivaldi Collonges at present and it would be an impressive performance if he was take Saturday’s race.
Venetia Williams is set to saddle both Houblon Des Obeaux and Rigadin De Beauchene, the latter having won the race in 2013. Houblon Des Obeaux has not won since December 2013 but is dropping down the weights and is set to run on Saturday 6lbs lower than his last winning mark. Rigadin De Beauchene comes into the race on the back of an impressive victory at Haydock but he has become inconsistent of late, rarely running two good races back-to-back.
Lurking at the bottom of the weights is the David Bridgwater trained De Kerry Man who had the field on the stretch when unseating three from home at Cheltenham on New Years Day. That was De Kerry’s Man first run in nine months and off the same mark on Saturday, he could well run a big race.
Other notable runners on Saturday are Red Devils Lad for Rebecca Curtis and the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Algernon Pazham.
Sego Success is the current 7 (6/1) ante-post favourite for Saturdays race with Midnight Prayer available at 8 (7/1) and Vivaldi Collonges at 9 (8/1). Houblon Des Obeaux and Rigadin De Beauchene are both 11 (10/1) and De Kerry Man is 13 (12/1). The horse racing tip for Saturday’s Betfred Classic Chase is De Kerry Man each-way at 13 (12/1).
By: Scott McGlynn