Commodore ranks highly at a bustling Warwick
A bumper crowd of close to 7,000 cheered home the dashing grey Commodore, who made all the running to land the Local Parking Security Handicap Chase, the feature race at Warwick's New Year's Eve meeting, writes David Hucker.
With £11,400 in the prize fund, the race had looked a competitive event on paper but it proved to be a demolition job for Commodore and Charlie Deutsch, as they made every yard of the running over the three-mile trip to see off their rivals with ease.
“He always promised to be a better chaser than a hurdler and he jumped immaculately,” said in-form trainer Venetia Williams, who doubled up for the day when Burrows won at Uttoxeter ten minutes later.
There was an on-course gamble on Urtheonethatiwant in the opening handicap hurdle for novices over two miles and three furlongs but, while he had every chance turning for home, he faded over the last two flights, finishing only fourth behind 6-1 shot Top Decision, who just got the better of On Raglan Road by a neck in the hands of conditional jockey Fergus Gregory.
The trip was two miles and five furlongs for the British Stallion Studs EBF Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle and the two dominating the market were course bumper winner Printing Dollars and She Mite Bite, who threw away a winning chance on debut in November.
They had to settle for the places, however, as Nico de Boinville made all the running on Yellow Dockets, trained like She Mite Bite by Nicky Henderson, to post a comfortable five-length success.
Next up was a handicap chase over two miles and there was plenty of money for Royal Act, with Sarah-Jayne Davies’ runner shortening to 5-1 behind market leader Wisecracker.
The two went head to head from the off but were joined by 18-1 shot Lightentertainment at the fifth and, with Royal Act backpedaling at the end of the back straight, he came to challenge Wisecracker with two fences to jump and stayed on strongly with David Bass to win by six lengths.
The biggest field of the afternoon lined up for the LPS Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and it was Perfect Pirate who took them along, tracked by top-weight Optimistic Bias.
But neither was to be involved in the finish, as His Dream and Jonjo ONeill Jr, riding for his father, came to lead at the penultimate flight and land the prize for the meeting sponsors Local Parking Security.
There was strong market support for Orchardstown Cross from 5-1 into 2-1 in the LPS Handicap Chase but, just like the stable’s Urtheonethatiwant in the opener, there was no happy ending for his supporters as, having jumped into the lead at the final fence, he was run out of it close home by Arquebusier, making his third appearance in the race for Emma-Jane Bishop.
Nobby, a winner over the course in May, gave weight and a beating to his eight rivals when landing the concluding bumper in impressive style.