With officials taking no chances with the weather, putting down fleece covers over the whole course on Sunday, it is fingers crossed for Gentlemen’s Day at Warwick tomorrow when the Grade 2 Titanbet.co.uk Kingmaker Novices’ Chase is the feature event on the seven-race card, writes David Hucker.
After a large crowd turned out for last month’s Classic Chase Day, general manager Huw Williams will be hoping the covers do their stuff for what promises to be another action-packed afternoon for the resurgent course.
“The Kingmaker Chase Day is regarded as one of the leading trials for the Cheltenham Festival and once again promises to attract a top quality field with the chance of star chasers of the future making a name for themselves here,” said Williams.
To add interest to the afternoon, television presenter Emma Spencer will be holding a tipping workshop and there will be a Best Dressed Gent competition, for which the first prize includes a £500 voucher from Jacks of Warwick.
Previous Kingmaker Chase winners include Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Long Run and three Champion Chase heroes in Finian’s Rainbow, Voy Por Ustedes and Flagship Uberalles.
Last year’s winner Balder Succes has gone on to score three more times, including Aintree’s Grade 1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase, so upholding the value of the Kingmaker form down the years.
Course winners Vibrato Valtat and Top Gamble share top rating in this year’s contest but there are others in with a chance, including Adriana Des Mottes from the yard of ace Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
Vibrato Valtat was given one of the rides of the season by Sam Twiston-Davies when scoring here in November and has gone on to notch two more successes since.
He is also engaged at Newbury tomorrow whereas Top Gamble, who survived a mistake at the seventh fence when beating Far West in a small race at Newbury last time, has Warwick as his only entry.
Adriana Des Mottes unseated her jockey at the last fence at Limerick on Boxing Day but would have a chance on her earlier success at Fairyhouse.
The main supporting race is the £22,000 OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) over two miles and five furlongs and Mullins has made two entries in this, including last year’s winner Glens Melody.
Following her Warwick success, Glens Melody’s next race was at Cheltenham when she got within three-quarters of a length of super mare Quevega, form that would be more than good enough for a repeat victory tomorrow.
Mayfair Music would be a danger at her best, but has not been seen out since tailed off behind Carole’s Spirit in a similar race in November.
She is also entered at Newbury tomorrow and the progressive Dark Spirit may be the one to give Glens Melody most to do.