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Betfred Classic Chase Preview – Saturday 13th January

Last updated: January 12, 2018 by Leon Marshal

The feature race at Warwick on Saturday is the Grade 3 Betfred Classic Handicap Chase over three miles and five furlongs.

The race was established in 2004 and has always been regarded as a serious Grand National trial. Moorcroft Boy won the race in 1994 before going on to finish third at Aintree. He later won the Scottish National at Ayr. Last season, One For Arthur became the first horse to win both the Classic Chase and the Grand National. Paul Nicholls has won the race three times with D’Argent (2008), West End Rocker (2011) and Hawkes Point (2015).

Two horses at Warwick racecourse

Creswell Breeze among favourites at Warwick

The race has a wide open look about it this year with the bookmakers struggling to establish a clear favourite. Prominent in the early betting market is Cresswell Breeze, an eight-year-old mare trained by Anthony Honeyball.

She has won five of her 25 races under rules and won at Fontwell on her seasonal reappearance in November. Cresswell Breeze then ran well off a 7lbs higher mark when third behind Benbens and Sugar Baron in the London National at Sandown. She has won in heavy ground so should not be inconvenienced by conditions on Saturday.

Missed Approach will also have plenty of supporters following a decent effort in the valuable Ladbrokes Trophy. He wore blinkers for the first time on that occasion and finished a creditable sixth behind Total Recall. The form took a bit of a knock when runner-up Whisper ran poorly in the King George on Boxing Day. The third, fourth and fifth horses have all been beaten subsequently.

Sir Mangan raised 4lbs for Bangor victory

Dan Skelton saddles Sir Mangan, a ten-year-old gelding by Darsi. He has been put up 4lbs for his victory over Actinpieces at Bangor-on-dee back in November. That followed an excellent second to Beer Goggles in a handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot the previous month. The winner went on to win the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

Kerry Lee trained Russe Blanc to win the Warwick Classic in 2016. The grey returns for another crack at this valuable prize along with stable companions Goodtoknow and Krackatoa King. The latter just failed to repel Regal Flow in heavy ground at Wincanton last time out. This extreme distance could be a concern. Krackatoa King has been defeated on all four previous runs in excess of three and a half miles.

Goodtoknow finished runner-up to One For Arthur in this race last year but has failed to complete in three of his five subsequent outings. He is only 2lbs higher in the weights this year.

Two horses rallying at the finish

Indian Castle chasing long overdue success

Cogry put up a fine performance to beat Singlefarmpayment by four lengths at Cheltenham in October. He also ran in the Ladbrokes Trophy but was pulled up. He also lost his way last season, failing to complete in four races. Stable companion Ballycross finished runner-up to Wild West Wind at Chepstow. The winner fell when leading in the Welsh National so that form is difficult to assess. He was pulled up in this race a year ago.

Crosspark was a fair fourth to Willie Boy at Newbury in November but was pulled up at the same track next time. He is unproven beyond three miles. On The Road was a winner twice at Sedgefield in the spring. He reappeared to run second behind Sykes at Ffos Las but unseated his rider at the fourth fence at Chepstow.

Indian Castle has not raced since finishing sixth to What A Moment at Cheltenham in November. You have to go back to January 2014 to find his most recent victory, although he was placed at Cheltenham last October. Emperor’s Choice fell at the first fence in the Welsh National having won his previous race at Haydock. The eleven-year-old has been well beaten on his two previous appearances in this race.

Betfred Classic Chase Betting Tips 13/01/2018

Creswell Breeze @7-1 Betfred

Goodtoknow @12-1

Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4

The Betfred Classic Chase is due off at 3.35 on Saturday 13th January and will be televised live on ITV4.