Horse racing expert Steven Dowler gives his verdict on the Boosted £7,000 Place 6 at Warwick this afternoon and he has a strong fancy for Maire Banrigh.
12.20 – Maiden Hurdle
We start the day with a nice looking maiden hurdle with some smart flat performers make there hurdle debut. Stuart Edmunds does really well with flat recruits and he runs two here with Cieran Gethings choosing to ride ROWLAND WARD, who was rated 85 on the flat and showed good form over staying trips against decent company. He will have been well prepared for this task and if putting in a clear round, he must have a sound chance.
Henry Oliver is operating at a good strike rate at the moment and he sends the formerly trained Aidan O’Brien horse KANGAROO VALLEY over hurdles straight away. He was the best of these on the flat being rated in the 90’s and stays well so if he can handle the slower ground here, I think he will go close under Jeremiah McGrath.
I also think it is worth chancing HYDROPLANE who completed a three timer earlier in the year on the flat and showed he handles testing ground which will be fine for him here. He is another who stays well and Tom O’Brien takes the ride, who does well at this track and if hurdling fluently at the first time of asking then he must have a big chance.
Selections: ROWLAND WARD, KANGAROO VALLEY, HYDROPLANE
12.50 – Maiden Hurdle
Nicky Henderson won this prize last year with the classy Birchdale and I like SLEIGHT OF HAND, who bids to follow up last year’s winning yard. He hasn’t run for 292 days but his form in bumpers is possibly the strongest in the line up. Sleight Of Hand was third on debut in a decent race before finishing a fast close-up fourth at Kempton. The first and second from that race Enrilo and House Island have both gone on to finish in the same order in a grade two at Sandown, which is strong form and gives Sleight Of Hand a massive chance here. I don’t think this 5yo will lack for fitness and he will have been well schooled ahead of his hurdles debut here with James Bowen retaining the ride
The Skelton team rely on FIRAK, who showed plenty of potential on hurdles debut when fourth of 16 at Chepstow. I really liked the way he travelled throughout the contest to be in contention jumping the last but he kind of blew out towards the end of the race which was to be expected. Firak will have learnt loads from that experience and has race fitness on his side here with the step up in trip to suit so he is entitled to be bang there at the business end.
Nicky Henderson’s other runner WELSH SAINT also has a good chance. He also has hurdling experience under his belt and following a good spell in bumpers, he fell on his hurdling debut when still contention late on. Welsh Saint then made his seasonal debut over this trip on soft ground at Exeter and made the 142 rated Cat Tiger pull out all the stops. The horse who was back in third has won since, so the form is pretty strong and he will be more street wise here and has leading credentials under NDB.
Selections: SLEIGHT OF HAND, FIRAK, WELSH SAINT
13.20 – Mares Novices Chase
The Skelton team step the fast improving MAIRE BANRIGH up in class and trip here who has won her last four starts nicely. She jumped exceptionally well on her chase debut when winning by 15 length hard held before maintaining her unbeaten record over fences to make it 2-2 when accounting for the useful former hurdler Thomas Darby. This seven-year-old has not missed a beat over her fences and there is clearly much more improvement to come. I have been very impressed with Maire Banrigh, who gets 5LB from Alsa Mix and this longer trip promises to suit the way she has been hitting the line strongly over shorter distances. Maire Banrigh will be tough to beat here with a reproduction of her latest win at the course.
You can’t discount Alsa Mix or SENSULANO who was very useful over hurdles winning three times including at this track over C&D and made a good start to her chasing career when second at Ffos Las. The third horse Tidal Flow absolutely bolted up just a few days ago to give the form a huge boost and this mud-lark six-year-old was a bloodless winner at Fontwell over this trip where she beat Midnight Tune by 16 lengths and the runner-up has since won by a wide-margin. Even though Sensulano has winning form on good to soft, she is a proper soft ground specialist and has done well three times at this track early in her career. There is much more to come from Sensulano over fences and she won’t go down without a fight here.
Selections: MAIRE BANRIGH, SENSULANO
13.55 – Handicap Chase
A very competitive handicap chase in which you could make a case for all eight runners to be honest. However, I have a strong opinion on three here starting with BOOK OF GOLD trained by Oliver Sherwood. He is a ground versatile seven-year-old and was was staying in third here two starts ago over hurdles off a 4LB higher mark. Book Of Gold ran well for a long way on seasonal debut when needing the run and connections clearly used that race as a prep-run for this event. This horse is very well treated on handicap debut off 107 and his only other two runs over fences seen him outclassed at Newbury behind Lostintranslation and La Bague Au Roi and then a class 3 event at Chepstow off a 16LB higher mark. Book Of Gold is sure to find this race a lot easier and Leighton Aspell remains on board so if he is able to take a step forward from his latest run then he has a real nice chance of running well at decent odds.
Despite top-weight and coming here on the back of a fall, I can’t discount DENTLEY DE MEE who has only won twice but has been a model of consistency otherwise. He’s finished no worse than fourth on all chase starts off higher marks in either class 2 or class 3 company and remains on his lowest mark over fences 120 from when he fell. This six-year-old is well worth another try over 3 miles again dropping down in class and if he is over that latest fall, Dentley De Mee looks sure to make a bold bid under his welter burden.
Although he was pulled up four times in a row and then fell when going well two starts ago, the 10-year-old WESTERN CLIMATE bounced back to form with a good third last time out off this mark. He handles soft/heavy ground and went close here over hurdles back in 2018 off a mark 126 as well running well in a listed chase over C&D. Western Climate’s last win was off a 15LB higher mark on heavy ground in class 3 company, so it’s quite clear to see he is a very well handicapped horse and the stable are going strongly and that gives him a major each way chance at least if able to put two good runs together.
Selections: BOOK OF GOLD, DENTLEY DE MEE, WESTERN CLIMATE
14.25 – Handicap Hurdle
We now move on to the weakest race and biggest field of the day at Warwick. Ian Williams runs GETAWAY MISSION who was well beaten on his first four starts but showed promise on his two latest runs, one of those when fifth of 10 here over 2m3f before and was a fair sixth of 16 on handicap debut on seasonal debut last time off 90. He is 1LB lower today with fitness guaranteed so he can’t be discounted in such a weak contest.
Kim Bailey and Davis Bass team up with POND ROAD who has shown a decent level of form and plugged on to finish fourth on his handicap debut over 3m1f last time off 96 carrying 11-10. He is 2LB lower here carrying 9LB less and he’s an unexposed five-year-old which makes him dangerous to ignore.
NESSFIELD BLUE took a step forward last time when a staying on fourth at Chepstow off 102 over 2m3f under Mark Grant and today’s longer trip promises to suit. He’s also 1LB lower with conditions no problem and if able to replicate that performance here then he looks set to be in with a good chance of running another big race for connections.
I do think MILAN OF CRYSTAL is too big of a price to ignore. She also doesn’t win often and is one of the most exposed in the race but has hit the frame seven times off higher marks and stays very well. She has won three times off this mark or higher and has gone well on all starts in 2019 and is very well treated. She might find a few too good for win purposes but at least we know she will run her race.
Selections: GETAWAY MISSION, POND ROAD, NESSFIELD BLUE, MILAN OF CRYSTAL
15.00 – Handicap Chase
This looks a good chance for IDEE DE GARDE to go well on chase debut. He was highly tried in a grade two over hurdles and has been a little disappointing over 2m4f the last twice but I think he’s best at 2 miles and a set of fences will be a help to him. Today’s mark over fences looks within reach and Harry Skelton hangs around to ride him for his brother so he is worth chancing to finally come good over obstacles for connections.
Tom George runs smart hurdler PETIT PALAIS who was highly tried a few times last season without being disgraced. His two runs in better company this season will have put him spot on for today’s chase debut and he looks to be on a very attractive mark. Petit Palais is only a 4yo with potential over fences and he could make a mockery of this mark with a clean round of jumping.
Selections: PETIT PALAIS, IDEE DE GARDE