Warwick Wigley Group Classic Chase: Warwick 3pm Saturday January 14th
Selections: Strongly Recommended – Volcano 22/1
Recommended: Nestor Park: 8/1
Both EW to 5 places with Skybet.
Volcano is a cracking little grey horse with loads of guts. He is 10lbs out of the weights here, carrying 10.2, not the 9.6 he was allotted by the handicapper. This marks the significant step up in grade from Class 3 handicaps to this Class 1. I can’t recall if I’ve ever tipped a horse so far out of the weights, but I am happy to do so with Volcano.
He is unbeaten in four runs here at Warwick – winning each of those easily, one of them over this trip. Ground is forecast as heavy, which he has run on twice without success (both runs about 3 years ago). But I think his love of this track outweighs that by quite some measure.
Such is his enthusiasm for fencing, he occasionally loses concentration and hits one, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. He has fallen just once, under a 7lb amateur. Saturday’s jockey Ben Jones gets on very well with him. Trainer Sheila Lewis doesn’t have many horses and is probably best know for her stable star Straw Fan Jack, who’s won twice this season. I think Volcano has a good chance of sharing future glories with his stablemate. I’d have him here as no more than a 12/1 chance, and he is strongly recommended, Skybet’s 5 place EW terms making the bet more attractive.
I also like Nestor Park in this, a horse I’ve followed for some time. He is consistent and has run some good races. His second top Racing Post Rating came on heavy ground and he will get the trip. This is his second run of the season, having gone really well over 28f at Haydock in November, beaten just over 3 lengths. He’s improving and has a strong chance here. Trainer Ben Pauling is still going well and has a 14-day strike rate for winners of 24% (placed 38%) as I write (Thursday afternoon).
That’s it. Good luck.
My usual warning. Anything I put up as a tip here is for ‘fun money’ – stakes you can afford to lose almost without even thinking about it. There’s just as much fun to be had with small stakes.
Post race edit: The wee grey horse was a sight to see leading them a merry dance for most of the way and battling on for 5th place to land the place part of the bet. Working to £5ew that gives a return of £27. Nestor Park was one of many pulled up, so zero return to that £5ew giving a £7 profit on the day.