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Sport Preview: Horse Racing - Sat 15th Jan 2022

Saturday Racing Preview: Sat 15th Jan

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Warwick and Kempton take centre stage this Saturday on ITV, with the Classic Chase at 3:00 the big betting heat of the day. This is the biggest day of the year at Warwick and there are 2 excellent Novice races on the undercard that are worthy of mention, with the Hampton Novices Chase and the Leamington Novices hurdle.

The Novice Chasers will go first at 1:50 and the market would suggest that this revolves around Paul Nicholls’ THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE. He has won 3 of his 4 starts over fences this season and won with a lot in hand at Doncaster last month. That was only a 3-runner race, and this looks likely to be more of a test, especially if Corach Rambler runs here instead of in the Classic Chase. A handicap mark of 142 will probably be too much to resist, so that could leave this race open to Paul Nicholls to win for a 4th win in the race. Mint Condition and Mossy Fen have some solid course form over hurdles to at least give him a race, but Threeunderthrufive has achieved far more over fences and will be hard to oppose.

The Novice hurdlers are up next, and this race can be a very useful pointer towards the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival, with both The New One and Willoughby Court winning this on route to festival glory. At first glance there probably isn’t a Cheltenham festival winner in this field, but the likes of Gelino Bello, Surrey Quest and the Irish Raider Mr. Fred Rogers could make this into a fascinating contest.

At 3:00 is the feature race and with a big field going to post over 3-miles 5-furlongs, this is a proper race to get stuck into. Commodore and Corach Rambler were impressive winners at Cheltenham in December and either of them could prove much better than this grade. However, they both have a big weight to carry and so the better value could lie with Dan Skelton’s PADLEYOUROWNCANOE. He had some solid form in the book when he was trained by Colin Tizzard and seemed to be back to himself when he made his debut for his new yard at Haydock last month. That run before Christmas should have put him spot on for this and he appears to have been targeted for this race by his shrewd connections. There are no concerns over his stamina and on a mark that is 5lbs lower than for his last win, he makes a lot of each-way appeal at 8/1.

Kempton fills the remainder of the live racing on ITV action and the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase at 2:05 is shaping up into a superb contest. Dashel Drasher has been the antepost favourite for this since the markets opened on Monday, but the presence of Master Tommytucker could give him competition for the lead and so it could set the race up for a strong travelling closer. With Defi Du Seuil looking like a shadow of his former self, it could pay to back FANION D’ESTRUVAL. Venetia Williams’ has her team in fine form and her 7-year-old won with ease at Newbury in November, in a manner that would suggest he is more than capable of winning a race like this.

The Lanzarote hurdle is the big betting heat of the day at Kempton (2:40) and although this looks to be a competitive field, it is very hard to get away from MARIE’S ROCK. She has taken her time to return to form but the step up in trip seemed to work wonders for her when winning over this course and distance on Boxing Day. A rise of 9lbs would look to be very fair and if she can win this race on a mark of 140, she will become a lively contender for the Mares’ hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

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