Hurdling at Warwick Racecourse

07th February 2014

Preview: Kingmaker Chase Day at Warwick

Tomorrow at Warwick it is one of our biggest days of the Jumps Season, but, like so many, the weather is causing us serious headaches.

It has been a fairly clear run weather-wise up until yesterday, but we knew from the forecast that last night would bring rain. When I arrived this morning, the course was waterlogged and, as I write, it is literally all hands to the pumps as we attempt to move the standing water off it.

Today is forecast to be dry up until midnight, but rain is due and while we remain hopeful of racing tomorrow, I would suggest you keep an eye on Twitter, the website and local radio.

I hope we are racing because Kingmaker Chase Day is one of the highlights of the jump season at Warwick and it is not just the feature race to look forward to.

Tomorrow sees the first running of the listed Mares' Hurdle. All but one of the runners declared tomorrow lined up last month in the Listed hurdle that was transferred to Warwick from Sandown Park. It is a small field and the picks are Willie Mullins' Glens Melody and Oliver Sherwood's Mischievous Milly who were 1st and 2nd last time. It is over 2 furlongs further but Oliver Sherwood is keen to have another crack at Glens Melody.

In the feature race the Star Sports Kingmaker Novices Chase, Balder Succes is an interesting runner. He obviously likes Warwick and is a talented horse having run a time just over 0.5s off the Warwick course record over 2m on Good to Soft in November, but he will need to be back on form tomorrow.

Someone who has found that rich vein of form is Venetia Williams whose horses love soft ground and she is a trainer who places her horses incredibly well. This race is Charlie Mann's preference for Lord of the House, while Sam Twiston-Davies is two from two on Paul Nicholls' Valco de Touzaine.

The race after the Kingmaker, the Call Star Sports Handicap Chase is shaping up to be a really nice contest. Conquisto, who heads the weights for trainer Steve Gollings, won the Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree while Majala for Tom George won the Kingmaker here last year. Plus there are two Grand National-winning jockey/trainer combinations in this race; Liam Treadwell and Venetia Williams with Drumshambo and Ryan Mania and Sue Smith with Mr Moonshine.

Fingers crossed we will be on and racing tomorrow.