It's St. Mary's Land Raceday at Warwick on Thursday

By David Hucker

Warwick races
Warwick races


It's St. Mary's Land Raceday at Warwick on Thursday when the £20,000 Lewis Badges Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3) tops an eight-race card, writes David Hucker.

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Rikoboy has won just once from 20 starts over hurdles and fences, but is 2lbs lower than when second to Another Crick at Wincanton in January. Galop De Chasse boasts a better strike-rate, having won at Lingfield and Ludlow this season, and finished runner-up to Doukarov at Sandown Park last time, whilst Rockstar Ronnie won twice at Kempton Park before finishing a well-beaten fourth of five behind Sebastopol at the course 12 days ago.

It all kicks off at 1.00pm with the Join Racing TV Now Maiden Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs, which will be run in two divisions.

Wilmcote trainer Olly Murphy had three entries and, in the first division, he saddles Benign Dictator, looking to open his account over hurdles at the third attempt. He finished fourth to Hector Javilex at Southwell last time and, with the winner scoring again at Ludlow on Monday, looks the form choice. Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham had two entries and Another Mystery, winner of a point-to-point, looks the danger.

Murphy's other two entries run in the second division and, whilst not without a chance, look to have it all to do to beat Dan Skelton's Jeffery's Cross, third in the Southwell race won by Hector Javilex.

The field for the Watch On Racing TV Mares' Novices' Handicap Chase over three miles includes

Roseisaroseisarose, who has still to win over fences after eight attempts, but is dropping down the handicap and is now 11lbs lower than when third in a similar race over the course in November. Wind Tor has hit a rich vein of form at the age of ten, winning her last two races, and comes here with regular rider Chloe Emsley carrying at 7lb penalty for beating Wilderness by six lengths at Exeter.

The longest race of the afternoon is the Every Race Live On Racing TV Novices' Handicap Hurdle over three and a quarter miles and could go to Money Spinner, a beaten favourite at Taunton last time. Navegaon Gate has had just three runs over hurdles and receives a 15lb weight allowance as a juvenile.

Course winner Punctuation carries top weight in the Handicap Hurdle, but could find Head Law, making his handicap debut, a tough nut to crack, before Stratagem and Not That Fuisse lock horns in a fascinating Air Wedding Open Hunters' Chase.

The closing Open Maiden National Hunt Flat Race has attracted the biggest field of the afternoon and, in a race when seven of the runners are making their Rules debut, Ginny's Destiny, runner-up to Altobelli on his first run at Exeter, and Bertie Blue, beaten just a neck at Taunton, bring some form to the party.