Warwick Classic Chase Day | Lanzarote plan for Aucunrisque

Punchestown Festival

After last weekend’s underwhelming quality of racing, Warwick Classic Chase Day and Graded action from Kempton is a welcome addition to the next few days.

Da Capo Glory’s success at 4/1 helped the Best Of Bets selections last week, and I’ll be hoping to continue the form today.


Win Bets

12:40 Warwick – Klitschko @ 3/1 with BetVictor – 1pt Win

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Starting in the second race at Warwick, I think that Klitschko could be ahead of his mark of 118.

Today is his second start in a handicap having tried his hand in this company at Lingfield on his seasonal reappearance when he probably needed the run.

The full brother to Henry de Bromhead’s Arctic Bresil looked smart at Plumpton in February to get off the mark, one run after he finished second on soft ground to Jupiter Du Gite at Newbury; both the third and fourth have improved into the mid-120s which has franked the form.

With the idea that he’ll come on for his last run, Klitschko has the right attributes to land a knockout blow on Warwick Classic Chase Day.


1:49 Warwick – Mel Monroe @ 11/4 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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Although Gordon Elliott doesn’t have the greatest record of winning Pertemps Qualifiers, Mel Monroe has the form in the book to change that trend today.

The three-mile point-to-point winner has finished behind Encanto Bruno, a good horse for Gavin Cromwell, stablemate Croke Park, and Jessica Harrington’s Jetara this season, all three of which are Graded horses.

Although we don’t know the strength of this year’s novices and how their form translates into open company, one could guess that it is a step above some of the other pieces of form in today’s Pertemps Qualifier.

Off 132, if Elliott has Pertemps ambitions with this Walk In The Park mare, she would have to go close to winning today in order to ensure her place in the final.

Furthermore, the step up in trip is something she has been crying out for and soft ground should be no problem.


3:00 Warwick – Malina Girl @ 3/1 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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I may have missed the 8/1 ante-post boat with Malina Girl, but her chances are still as good at 3/1 as they were when she was a bigger price.

Off top weight, the seven-year-old should be well-suited to a staying trip on soft ground based on her Cheltenham form this season.

The Gavin Cromwell-trained mare bolted up in November off 135 and was in the process of running a mighty race last month before falling at the third-last, though the handicapper was unable to change her mark because of where she fell.

Following her run in November at the home of jump racing, the Grand National was briefly mentioned by Sean Flanagan, so she is seemingly well-regarded within the stable.

With Conor Stone-Walsh claiming a valuable five pounds off her back today. Malina Girl is a rightful favourite and one of my favourite horses from this season.


12:55 Kempton – Gentle Slopes @ 13/8 with William Hill – 2pt Win NAP

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The NAP of the day comes from Kempton as Gentle Slopes should be too good for the opposition in the two-mile novice hurdle.

Having switched yards to Nicky Henderson, he scored impressively at Cheltenham in November and was talked up as a potential Challow Hurdle horse for previous trainer Milton Harris, though he decided to calm his ambitions and send him back to Cheltenham in December.

He disappointed there, as he did at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, but his bumper form is ahead of his opposition today and sufficient time away from the track – and a new trainer – could feasibly see him back to his best.

Hopefully, this is the case as connections once thought plenty of him and today’s seasonal reappearance is a winnable race.


3:15 Kempton – Cap Du Mathan @ 9/2 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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Completing the win fancies for today is Paul Nicholls’ Cap Du Mathan in the penultimate race at Kempton.

This season has not been up to scratch thanks to two pulled-up efforts, though his fourth at Ascot over 2m1f is a good piece of form.

Boothill went on to win another handicap and was in the process of running a good race in the Desert Orchid before falling, First Flow performed brilliantly when second at Chepstow to Quel Destin, and Saint Segal looked like a winner at Ascot on his next start before falling.

So, in what was a race that was probably too short for him, he ran a cracker.

Down three pounds since that race, he is just one pound above his last winning mark and Kempton is a track the nine-year-old has previous form around.

If he can put his last run behind him, today should be an easier test to get back in the winners’ enclosure.


Each-way Bet

2:42 Kempton – Aucunrisque @ 22/1 with William Hill – 1pt EW

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Having thought all season that the Betfair Hurdle is his target, Aucunrisque failed to get an entry for Newbury’s feature handicap hurdle next month.

Although this is an interesting move from connections, it does suggest that today’s Lanzarote Hurdle has been the long-term target.

With an official rating of 140, just two pounds above his Betfair Hurdle-winning mark, the eight-year-old has good form with the likes of Jetoile (now rated 150), Boothill, and Datsalrightgino.

The No Risk At All gelding is, in my eyes, a Graded animal that trainer Chris Gordon has managed to get back down to a workable mark, and today’s step up in trip could feasibly see him improve.

Gordon was one place away from winning this race in 2022 with Highway One O Two, so I’m sure he would like to go one better this year.

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