Racing returns to Warwick with wins for Sophosc, El Borracho and Vision Des Flos
Favourite backers had got off to a good start for the season when Sophosc out-gunned Larusso on the run-in to land the opening Hazelton Mountford Insurance Brokers Novices' Hurdle in a tight finish.
Winner of a maiden hurdle at Plumpton in May, Sophosc had won again on the flat 12 days before and showed the superior speed after Larusso, who had led into the straight, put in a better jump at the last.
The first Class 3 contest was the Paul Fergusons Jumpers To Follow Handicap Chase over two miles which, disappointingly, had attracted only three runners. There was little to choose in the betting between Ragamuffin and El Borracho, who has been hurdling and was having his first run over fences since winning at Kelso last September.
Sam Twiston-Davies set out to make all the running on Ragamuffin as he had done when the combination were successful at Newton Abbot last time. The three runners were tightly-packed, however, at the sixth-last fence where El Borracho jumped to the front and, apart from an untidy effort at the last, had been foot-perfect and came right away from his two rivals.
Solstalla had won the Poundland Foundation Proudly Supports Make-A-Wish UK Mares' Handicap Hurdle two years ago and she was successful again when beating top-weight Une De La Seniere by a rapidly-diminishing head. Maria Magdalena led into the straight, looking like ending a long losing run but, by the last flight, it was Solstalla and Une De La Seniere who had asserted, with Page Fuller's mount making the better jump and pulling out all the stops to just scrape home.
Two and a half miles was the trip for the Class 3 Poundland Foundation Proudly Supports Tommys Handicap Chase and it went to 13/8 favourite Vision Des Flos, trained by Joe Tizzard for his father Colin, who proved too strong for Golden Taipan, who was given a positive ride by Paddy Brennan, but whose jumping let him down on more than one occasion.
The final Class 3 event was the Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Handicap Chase over an extended three miles and a furlong and there was just a neck in it at the line as the mare Organdi, who had led at the fourth-last fence, held on from top-weight Irish Prophecy with Sizing Cusimano in third.
Dindin, having his 13th race since joining David Pipe from France before the start of the season, ran way with the Poundland Foundation Proudly Supports Whizz Kidzs Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase in the hands of Philip Armson, leading into the straight and proving far too strong for Serjeant Painter.
Teeceethree built on her debut run when fourth at Stratford, making all the running and quickening clear off the home bend to land the closing National Hunt Flat Race in some style.
There is racing again at the course next Thursday, with the first race due off at 1.36pm.