Big crowd for Ladies Night at Warwick races

Impressive victory by Saint Riquier in the feature race

Saint Riquier jumps the final flight in the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Hurdle at Warwick races Picture by David Pratt


There was another big crowd at Warwick on Saturday for Ladies Night and they saw an impressive victory by Saint Riquier in the feature £20,000 Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Hurdle, writes David Hucker.

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Run over a trip of two miles and three furlongs, it was the Paul Nicholls-trained Irish Hill who was sent off the even money favourite, having run here rather than in the more valuable Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park in the afternoon. He could never land a blow, however, as Saint Riquier, fifth in a Grade 1 race at Aintree last time, led into the home straight and fairly bolted up by six lengths to give jockey Charlie Todd his first winner since losing his claim.

It had all got underway with the Professor John Robert Fyfe Bolton OBE Novices' Hurdle in which trainer Dan Skelton ran course winner Jeffery's Cross from his three entries. Also entered in the feature race here and at Hexham in the afternoon, this looked a good call by Skelton as Jeffery's Cross had just three rivals to beat and the 8/13 favourite passed the post first, a neck in front of Mourzouk.

However, he had ducked to to his right after jumping the final flight and, after a lengthy stewards inquiry, the race was awarded to Mourzouk much to the dismay of favourite backers.

The Plimsoll Line was another hot favourite in the following Watch Irish Racing On Racing TV “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle as he looked to build on his good run at Newbury last time. There was to be no drama this time, as Rex Dingle kept him well away from Hermes Le Gris, who had led into the straight, coming home three and a quarter lengths clear.

A winner over the course last time, Ashoka was looking to complete a hat-trick in the John Temple Memorial Handicap Hurdle. Held up by Jack Andrews, he came to challenge Kazontherazz over the final two flights and was eased into the lead after jumping the last, winning cosily by half a length.

Just five set out in the South West Syndicate Mares' Novices' Chase and three were closely matched on official ratings with just a 4lb difference between them. Top-rated was Could Be Trouble, runner-up in her last two hurdle races and, under a good ride from Theo Gillard, made a winning chase debut, collaring Fortunes Melody, who had already run six times over fences, on the run-in.

Champion conditional jockey Kevin Brogan is in sparkling form, riding his fourth winner in three days when the veteran High Counsel wore down Lord Sparky on the run-in to land the Racing TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase.

The concluding National Hunt Flat Race saw another impressive performance, this time by the Olly Murphy-trained Strong Leader, who came right away from his rivals in the last furlong. Running on for third was Clapton Hill, who had been in the rear for most of the race, but made eye-catching progress late on.