TRAINER Harry Whittington and owner Andrew Brooks teamed up to win the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (2.05pm) at Warwick two season ago with Saint Calvados and they look to have an excellent chance of repeating that trick with ROUGE VIF tomorrow.
The six-year-old rounded off his novice hurdling career with a really good third in Aintree’s Grade One Top Novices’ Hurdle and made a pleasing start to life over fences at Market Rasen in October.
Things didn’t go to plan at Cheltenham in November, but he bounced back after a wind operation to chase home Global Citizen at Kempton over Christmas.
He showed a likeable attitude that day and even though Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra will be a tough nut to crack, Rouge Vif may take some passing and looks the call at 4/1.
Although we won’t know the final field for the Warwick Castle Handicap Chase (3.15pm) until later this morning, I’m hoping Skelton will have better fortunes in the shape of TWO TAFFS.
He was a very good novice, finishing third in the Close Brothers at Cheltenham in 2017, but was off the track for over two years subsequently.
Skelton’s 10-year-old returned in November with a pipe opener over hurdles at Wetherby, before finishing down the field in the Ladbrokes Trophy over a trip which clearly stretched his stamina.
The handicapper has dropped him 3lbs for that and he looks well treated considering his last victory at Ayr was off just a pound lower.
This 2m4f trip will suit and he looks the bet for his in-form trainer at 5/1 with Coral.
Rouge Vif 2.05pm Warwick
Two Taffs 3.15pm Warwick