Kimberlite Candy (9/2) provided Herefordshire trainer Tom Lacey with his biggest success to date when winning the Warwick Classic Chase by ten lengths. The eight year old had produced a career best on his reappearance when finishing second in the Becher Chase at Aintree last month. Raised three pounds since, he sat in behind long time leader Captain Chaos for much of the contest and took over at the last. Richie McLernon's mount strolled clear on the run-in and his victory almost certainly ensures his place in the Grand National in early April. Best fresh, one would expect him straight to Aintree without another run. It is a tremendous result for Lacey, who has made a big impression amongst the training ranks in the last few years.
Mossy Fen (7/2) is one of Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers in One Jump Ahead and he claimed his third win of the season when showing a terrific attitude to win the Grade 2 Leamington Novices' Hurdle at the Midlands track. Having looked a non stayer over three miles at Cheltenham last time, Nigel Twiston-Davies' gelding was dropping back in trip here but looked in trouble turning for home. However, the Milan gelding responded well to Sam Twiston-Davies' urgings and he stayed on dourly to wear down Irish raider Decor Irlandais to win by three parts of a length. The five year old will make a smashing novice chaser next season given his size and scope.
The Kim Bailey trained Two For Gold (3/1) made it three out of three over fences when producing a gutsy display in the Grade 2 novices' chase. The Gold Well gelding had won at Carlisle and Kelso earlier in the campaign and is a thorough stayer. Having been headed after the second last, he rallied well to score by half a length. The runner-up Hold The Note (10/1), who is featured in the Handicap Snips section of OJA, looked all over the winner at the second last but his stamina gave way on the run-in. Offically rated 133, Mick Channon's charge will be in a lofty rise after this, despite his defeat, which may ensure he gets a run in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the Festival. He travelled like the best horse in the race and it is only a matter of time before he breaks his duck over fences.
Never Adapt was featured in the Top 40 Prospects last season and having run a remarkable race to finish third at Cheltenham on her British debut, she missed the rest of the campaign. Absent for 391 days, she filled the same position on her handicap debut at the same track last month. Nicky Henderson's filly was well supported in a similar contest at Kempton and she won with something in hand, despite racing keenly late on. The daughter of Anabaa Blue was scoring off a mark of 130 and, given the fact she has only raced four times over hurdles, she remains open to significant improvement, especially when learning to settle. She holds an entry in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury (8th February) next month and it would be no surprise to see her head there next. The County Hurdle at the Festival is also a possibility later on.
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