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Preview 12 January 2008


2.30 Warwick Classic chase handicap Grade 3 3M 5F Heavy going

1. Kilbeggan Blade - One of two top weights in this race today and comes here in good form having bolted up in good fashion at Sandown and the handicapper has had his say for this race today raising him a total of 12lbs for what is a tougher looking race then the one he won. The trip round this sharp marathon shouldn't be a problem for this horse as he has bags of stamina and the biggest concern has to be the ground under this top weight for him as it maybe tougher then he is use too. Paddy Brennen rides today after steering him to victory on his only ride on the horse and may have just a minor role to play this time.

Tissue Price - 16/1

2. Naunton Brook - Could easily have been the ride of Paddy Brennan for boss Twiston-Davies, but this gallant front runner has been given the services of David England again to take some of the much needed weight of his back. The horse deserves to win at this level and today could be the day as he stays, loves this tough give underfoot, and a sharp marathon test should suit him to every yard. Last seen in the Welsh national, he ran a cracker, making all the running. Given that the first two home in that race are ideal horses for tough staying trips, he covered himself in glory and has to be a leading player in this event, which looks less classy then the Chepstow showpiece last time.

Tissue Price - 5/1

3. Blue Splash - Third in the weights for this maybe shows the slight lacking in class for this staying race today, but nothing should be taken away from Peter Bowen 8yo who on his day is a classy staying type, but there has to be some concerns over the horse actual jumping around a course that takes some jumping. If he gets his jumping right he could improve to take a close hand in this handicap today as he has the potential and Tom O'Brien may have picked the wrong of the pair. More of a long striding galloper he may not be best suited to this tight track but on the ground and a trip that is well in his range he could well go close under Christian Williams.

Tissue Price - 14/1

4. D'Argent - This 11yo is one of the more seasonal campaigners in the race and is back down to a mark that could easily see him take this grade 3-handicap chase. Given the track and the ground over a staying trip he has every thing in favour under the guidance of Robert Thornton. Yet to show the form he showed at the back end of last season where he put up a performance that would have him go close enough in this race he comes to head about this time of year and should run a big race within the next six weeks if campaigned correctly.

Tissue Price - 6/1

5. Trust Fund - Has improved since changing stables to the champion chaser and is hatrick seeking today under another hefty rise in the weights after cantering all over his rivals to win back-to-back races. Suited to the ground today he could well go well but will need to improve again with a much tougher race to overcome today in what looks his target and if winning this as well Paul Nichols will be genius in my view. More tricky galloping tracks have seen him run away with his races, but he is quite exposed over staying trips and a sharp track may not be ideal and the run may well come to a end today.

Tissue Price - 20/1

6. Philson Run - For a twelve year old he is very lightly raced and has been campaigned towards these types of races for most of his career and with the mud suiting could run a big race but he does look up against it against these today on seasonal reappearance despite last seen running a cracking race in the Grand National. Likely to come on for the run he still is yet to manage to make the frame at this level in five starts and easier opportunities will be found when the handicapper cuts him some slack.

Tissue Price - 33/1

7. Fair Question - Won some small novice affairs last season and hasn't quite reached the top level of chasing yet but there is still some time and isn't with out chance at this level having run well on this ground before and jumped well for today's pilot with the track being suited to his tight running style. The trip has to be the biggest concern today and he may be a better betting proposition when dropping back in trip, but is worth another go at these longer trips and is one to keep a eye on.

Tissue Price - 16/1

8. Sixo - Long time absence shouldn't be a problem for this horse that was always at his best when returning from a break and with the yard in form and David Pipe set up being more then capable of getting one ready for first run he has better chance then what it looks and could well be up to winning this after a 1000 days of the track. Suited to tough going and stays this trip he could be well treated for his return to the course and market should be watched.

Tissue Price - 14/1

9. Not Left Yet - The second of the David Pipe pair and the only runner from in the colours of David Johnson, The run in the welsh national was too bad to be true and better is expected today but I wouldn't be taking a short price after that run on this horse despite the easier looking target as this will be the toughest conditions he has encounter over a long trip that he yet to show he is ideally suited too. Improvement is needed and it could come for the tough heavy ground today but at the single figure odds on offer it is hard to make a solid enough reason to risk it at such a short price. His recent form he needs to improve on and this is likely to be more of a watching brief.

Tissue Price - 16/1

10. Arnold Layne - The most interesting horse in the race today in which Tony Mccoy has been given the leg up for the first time and with the ground in favour and the staying impression he has already created he could well take all the beating with a good performance coming into this race and even though this is a massive step up in class he looks more then capable of holding his own at this level. Trainer has done well with her limited amount of runners and especially at this track where Arnold Layne has already got his head in front on only start here and rates as the potentially most interesting horse in this field.

Tissue Price - 7/1

11. High Chimes - Has a low weight for first attempt over the 3M marker today and will be interesting if he will improve for the step up in trip today with the ground on the testing side likely to suit and Paul Moloney keeping the partnership in shape for a horse that is going the right way. The track is unknown quantity and there isn't much to go on with this kind of track but it is more likely to suit then not and with the low weight has every chance of running a big race today.

Tissue Price - 7/1

12. Strong Resolve - Has a better chance then what people will give him credit for as he is the most exposed horse in the field and often gets talked of past his best, but has been a great servant for connections and despite not running to his best last time he still managed to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat proving that he still has the heart for the game. Paired with his regular jockey and has the love of the testing ground such as this he could run a big race from the bottom of the weights today. The trip has to be the biggest concern today as he has failed so many times to stay these marathon distances but in top form at present could run quite a big race today.

Tissue Price - 10/1

13. Mr Ed - Best on good ground and is the surprise choice of Tom O'Brien over Blue Splash and connections must feel he will handle the ground after a top run last time and a bounce back to form, there has to be some concerns though that he is yet to encounter ground as tough as this and this is further then he use too running over. Suited to sharp tracks such as this and should be ready to go fitness wise. However he has things to prove and is maybe best looked over today despite the low racing weight being ideal for the conditions.

Tissue Price - 25/1

14. Mr Fluffy - doesn't take part.

Tissue - Naunton Brook 5/1, D'Argent 6/1 High Chimes, Arnold Layne 7/1, Strong Resolve 10/1, Blue Splash, Sixo 14/1, Not Left Yet, Kilbeggan Blade, Fair Question 16/1, Trust Fund 20/1, Mr Ed 25/1, Philson Run 33/1

Verdict  Not the best classic chase in terms of quality for this grade 3 event and Naunton Brook could well jump them all ragged, despite the weight, after showing that he is as good as ever in the Welsh Grand National. D'Argent is a big threat, if back to his best around his most ideal track, while the unexposed pair of High Chimes and Arnold Layne give an interesting edge to this race and Strong Resolve is a gallant old boy who deserves another big run at this level.

Selection  1 pt win Naunton Brook @ 16/1 (24's BF) & 3 pts Place @ 4/1 ( BF 4.5-1)
Best of luck all
Well Chief