Warwick Racecourse stages its 2020 Agetur Kingmaker Chase Day on Saturday 8 February, and it’s traditionally a card used as a stepping-stone by many horses looking to contest races at the big spring festivals.
The highlight on the card is the Agetur UK Kingmaker Novices’ Chase, whilst the Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Warwick Castle Handicap Chase carries a lucrative first prize.
Check out our trends, analysis, and free tips for 2020 Agetur Kingmaker Chase Day at Warwick.
Agetur UK Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (2.05)
Only one of the last nine winners of this Grade 2 chase run over 2 miles and 54 yards has been returned at bigger odds than 7/2. Seven of those winners came into the race on the back of a win, but the last eight editions were all won by different trainers and jockeys.
Six horses are set to go to post for the 2020 Agetur UK Kingmaker Novices’ Chase and only 10lb separates them on official ratings. Ironically, the only horse to have won its previous race is the lowest-rated Moonlighter. He could improve further but he’s 3lb worse off with the re-opposing Precious Cargo for a short head victory.
Plenty of winners of this race have carried penalties but it will be disappointing if Djingle can concede 5lb to his rivals. However, it will be interesting to see where he finishes after being well-beaten behind current Arkle favourite Notebook last time.
Torpillo is at the other end of the weights and he bids to follow in the footsteps of Saint Calvados and Long Run in winning this race as 5-year-old. His course and distance win from Mister Fisher looks good-form now but the gut-feeling is Mister Fisher needed that run. Torpillo also flopped last time and needs to bounce back.
Rouge Vif ran his best race at Kempton over Christmas after wind surgery and it’s interesting that connections reach for the first tongue-tie to try and help his breathing even more. That could work the trick, but I still prefer the chances of Nube Negra.
Nube Negra finished well in front of Torpillo when they last met and he’s a further 4lb better off here. This strong-travelling type also looked ideally suited to Warwick when winning over course and distance earlier in the season and could have too much pace for today’s rivals. Officially rated 153, it’s unlikely that local trainer Dan Skelton has handicaps in mind for Nube Negra and he can take this before a possible tilt at the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Free Racing Tip: Nube Negra @ 2.63 Unibet
Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Warwick Castle Handicap Chase (3.15)
With a first prize of £31,280 up for grabs, some of the trainers of the 10 runners in the 2020 Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Warwick Castle Handicap Chase will have targeted their horses specifically at this race rather than having one eye on spring festivals.
Two horses that could be heading to the 2020 Cheltenham Festival are Two Taffs and Clondaw Castle, Two Taffs ran well to be second in a handicap there two years ago, whilst Clondaw Castle ran fourth in the 2019 Arkle Chase, so this could be an under the radar prep-run for those two.
This 2-miles and 4-furlongs trip is unknown territory for Katpoli whilst Northern Beau is also normally seen over shorter distances. Generous Day won well twice here at 2-miles last year off marks of 112 and 115 and he’s won over this trip at Kempton off 125 since. However, he flopped off today’s mark of 134 last time and needs the return to this track to bring about more improvement.
King Of Realms is also a previous winner at Warwick but his last win came over three miles, and connections reach for the first-time blinkers after two defeats since.
Interestingly, five of the last seven winners of this race have been rated between 143 or higher and that brings in the top two in the weights. Three of those winners won off topweight, so Gala ball can’t be ruled out. But most of his best runs have come at more galloping tracks.
Belamis Des Pictons gets the nod in first-time blinkers as he’s won both of his previous runs at Warwick over two and three miles and he’s got plenty of class. He’s only 4lb lower than for his last win in 2017 but often comes good after Christmas and looks to have been found a winnable opportunity by his trainer.