Our Horse Racing Tips come from Warwick and Kempton this weekend as Warwick stages the 10th running of its Classic Chase and Kempton stages the 33rd running of The Lanzarote Hurdle.
Classic Chase 3.35pm
3-miles 5-Furlongs, 22 fences, and ground that is unlikely to be any better than soft will have to be negotiated by whoever wins this gruelling contest, and many of runners usually fail to finish in an average renewal.
However, three of the last four winners (Shotgun Paddy, Rigadin De Beauchene and West End Rocker) return to do battle, as does last year’s runner-up Carruthers.
There have been 9 renewals of the race under its current banner, and weight-carrying performances are split fairly equally between those carrying 11-0 or more (4 winners) and those carrying 10-13 or less (5 winners). 2012 winner Hey Big Spender also managed to carry top-weight to victory which the connections of last year’s winner Shotgun Paddy will be pleased to know as he has to shoulder the maximum 11-12 this time around.
Age doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue either with two 7-year-olds, two 8-year-olds, three 9-year-olds, one 10-year-old and one 11-year-old being successful.
Shotgun Paddy may have to carry 5lb more weight this year, but is just 2lb higher in the handicap and can’t be ruled out. The same can’t be said of Rigadin De Beauchene who is rated 21lb higher than when taking this contest off a feather-weight in 2013. More interesting is West End Rocker who won this race off a mark of 133 which is just 1lb lower than he can race off here when taking into consideration his jockey’s 5lb claim. He also comes into the race having won his previous start which he did when previously successful – though he is 13 now. Carruthers is another one who could be fancied at the weights as he’ll be 14lb better off with Shotgun Paddy this time around – though again, at 12, is older than any previous winner.
Of the others, Return Spring looks sure to relish the trip but has so far saved his best for Cheltenham, Theatrical Star is unlikely to stay – and the others don’t look classy enough.
It’s possible that Return Spring may outclass his rivals if he handles conditions, but I’d much sooner split my stakes on Carruthers and West End Rocker. Their respective trainers, Mark Bradstock and Alan King, are both in decent form, they’re well-weighted, proven on the ground over course distance – and can give us a decent run for our money.
2 points each-way Carruthers @ 8/1
1.5 points each-way West End Rocker @ 12/1
Lanzarote Hurdle, Kempton, Saturday 2.40pm
I love trying to take on favourites in big-field competitive handicaps but sometimes favourites just cry out to be backed – as is the case for Tea For Two.
The gelding has won all four of his starts on right-handed tracks, including over the course and distance, and his trainer jockey combination of Nick Williams and Lizzie Kelly are very much in form. Williams has also won two of the last four renewals of the race, both with 6-year-olds which Tea For Two is.
3 points win Tea For Two @ 13/2