IT’S admittedly a quieter weekend of racing as the annual new year lull rolls around in the jumping world.
But Warwick’s feature Classic Chase is always a race worth tuning in for and often has a bearing on the Grand National come April time.
Kimberlite Candy hosed up in last year’s renewalCredit: Getty Images – Getty
One For Arthur took the race before going on to Aintree glory in 2017.
And last year’s winner, the Tom Lacey-trained Kimberlite Candy was well fancied to go close before racing was suspended due to COVID-19.
The gloss has been taken off this year’s race a tad by the rescheduled Welsh Grand National perhaps taking a few intended runners with it.
But all in all it still has an attractive feel to it from a betting point of view.
And we return to an old friend, The Hollow Ginge, who I actually fancied to go well in the Welsh National at Chepstow last weekend.
He was kept in the rear much of the way before unseating jockey Jamie Bargary at the 13th fence.
That race shouldn’t have taken too much out of him and he’s now been found a much easier spot. On top of that, he’s trading around a 16-1 poke at the time of writing – a similar price to the one he has chalked up at originally last week.
He’s been dropped another pound, but the booking of Sam Twiston-Davies catches the eye more than the minimal lenience offered by the handicapper.
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Twiston-Davies has partnered the horse to three of his four wins and this has to signal some form of intent.
He gets in off a perfect racing weight of 10’9, largely thanks to stablemate Ballyoptic heading the weights at a whopping 11’12.
All the same positives apply from last week. Plenty of rain is forecast and conditions should suit.
His fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy remains a rock-solid piece of form and showed a step up in trip and further emphasis will be right up his street.
At the top of the betting, Notachance has an obvious chance for trainer Alan King who has admitted this week this race has always been the plan.
He’s up 7lbs for his Bangor romp but looks a horse firmly on the upgrade and a step ahead of the handicapper.
Locally-trained Captain Chaos also has to be on the shortlist. He ran a blinder in this last year and looks well-handicapped on that effort and his follow-up win.
He has a few quiet runs to put behind him though and the above pair are short enough.
Therefore the bet has to be The Hollow Ginge at big odds. He looks a cracking each-way poke in an open race.