Flying angel claims kingmaker honours at warwick – stratford herald

GLOUCESTERSHIRE trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies was the man to follow on Saturday, as Flying Angel, ridden by his son Willy, took Warwick’s feature Grade 2 Betway Kingmaker Novices’ Chase, the first leg of a valuable stable treble on the afternoon, writes David Hucker.

Back at Warwick and ridden in the Kingmaker for the first time by Irish jockey Paul Townend, Gino Trail was soon in his customary position at the head of the field and a burst of acceleration around the home bend put paid to the chances of all bar one of his rivals.

That horse was Flying Angel, on whom Twiston-Davies had been taking the shortest route on the inside rail and, once pulled out to challenge approaching the second-last fence, joined the leader and went clear for an easy success to put himself alongside the likes of Finians Rainbow, Flagship Uberalles and Voy Por Ustedes who all used this race as a stepping stone to Cheltenham Festival glory. Softball tournaments 2016 Rons Dream jumps the last in the OLBG.COM Mares’ Hurdle. How to build a deck on a slope Photo: David Pratt

Bridget Andrews chalked up her tenth winner of the season when making all the running on Aintree My Dream to land the opening Novices´ Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs.

Winner of a National Hunt Flat Race over the course last April, Aintree My Dream has been steadily upping his game and, after finishing third in a handicap at Haydock Park last time, attracted plenty of support in the betting market, being returned the even money favourite.

Although Buster Thomas tried to lay down a challenge in the home straight, he couldn’t reel in the leader, who had 12 lengths in hand at the line and looks a useful prospect for Warwickshire trainer Dan Skelton.

The following Mares´ Hurdle (Registered as the Warwick Mares Hurdle) (Listed Race) featured another well-fancied horse in Jessber’s Dream, runner-up to Flute Bowl in the contest last year.

Bought out of Harry Fry’s stable by Ditcheat Thoroughbreds in November, she had failed to score in two races for new trainer Paul Nicholls, but punters sent her off the 7-4 favourite to make it third time lucky.

Taken to the front from the start by Jack Sherwood, Jessber’s Dream looked to have her rivals in trouble three flights from home but, Rons Dream, who had been pulled up on her chasing debut at the course in November, found another gear once they straightened up, joining the favourite at the penultimate flight and going clear approaching the last to post a six-length success under Sean Bowen. Ewing irrigation jobs Aintree My Dream jumps the final flight in the Nov Hurdle. Peach aviation japan Photo: David Pratt

Vibrato Valtat, who beat Top Gamble in the Kingmaker Chase two years ago, topped the weights in the £30,000 Racing UK In HD Warwick Castle Handicap Chase over two and a half miles.

Usually seen out in graded races, Vibrato Valtat had run in just two handicaps before this, winning the Haldon Gold Cup off a rating of 157 and finishing third at Aintree last October from a mark of 160.

Dropped to a rating of 152, he looked to be in with a chance of lifting this valuable prize, but found the concession of 21lbs to Templehills, who bounced back from a fall at Leicester last time out, just too much.

Well-ridden from the front by Dave Crosse, Templehills was bringing up a double for the Twiston-Davies stable at the track, topped 20 minutes later at Newbury by the success of Ballyandy in the day’s richest race, the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle.

The white-faced Catching On looked to have the Racing UK Winter Season Ticket Handicap Hurdle in the bag as he and conditional jockey Jack Savage had a healthy lead over their seven rivals with two flights to jump.

But, the trip of three and a quarter miles can prove hard work in testing ground around Warwick and his stride started to shorten as top-weight The Wallace Line closed the gap on the run-in, clinging on by a neck in the afternoon’s closest finish.

Belami Des Pictons made it five wins from his last six starts when cantering home by 22 lengths in the Racing UK Profits Returned To Racing Novices´ Chase before Catchin Time, trained at Kineton by Laura Hurley, came out of the gathering gloom to take the concluding ROA/Racing Post Owners Jackpot Handicap Hurdle.