Minella Reception enters Cheltenham picture at Warwick
Last Updated: 26/02/16 6:20pm
Minella Reception gave the handicapper a nudge ahead of the Cheltenham Festival with a smooth victory in the bigcasinobonuses.co.uk Budbrooke Handicap Chase at Warwick.
Off his present mark of 127, Minella Reception would have little chance of getting in the Brown Advisory And Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase.
However, the 10-year-old, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, is sure to go up in the ratings and in time for his Festival entry as the weights have not been published.
He is still by no means be certain to make the cut, but at least did his prospects a world of good with a timely victory.
Renard made a good fist of trying to make all the running, but he could not shake off Minella Reception, who cruised into the lead between the last two fences.
Noel Fehily simply had to push Minella Reception (7-2 co-favourite) out to defeat the pacesetter by eight lengths and take his personal tally for the campaign to 99.
"He did it really well today, so that's good. We were delighted with him," said Twiston-Davies.
"He's entered at Cheltenham. Whether he'll get in there I don't know, but that's the idea."
Minella Reception was cut to 40-1 from 66s with Paddy Power for his Cheltenham engagement.
Fehily is a distant third place in the jockeys' championship behind trailblazer Richard Johnson, who completed the first double century of his career with victory on Cheat The Cheater (4-1 joint-favourite) in the Listers Audi Novices' Handicap Chase.
Johnson came from an improbable position to bring the Claire Dyson-trained nine-year-old home by three and a half lengths from Glendermot.
He completed a double on Little Miss Poet (2-5 favourite), for his main retainer Philip Hobbs, in the British Stallion Studs EBF Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Will O'The West (4-1) followed up his Uttoxeter success with a game effort in the EBF Stallions 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle (Qualifier).
Jake Greenall brought Henry Daly's five-year-old to collar long-time leader Ballypoint at the final flight and go on to score by three-quarters of a length.
Daly told Racing UK said: "The bonus was he escaped a penalty as his win at Uttoxeter came in a conditional jockeys' race. He won probably not a good race and this was better.
"He's very much a work in progress and has been very keen at home. He still needs to learn to settle.
"The EBF Final (at Sandown) is in a couple of weeks and might come a bit quick, but we will have to think about it because it's a very nice prize."
Robert Dunne picked up a four-day ban (March 11-14) for weighing in 2lb light after riding Loveromabove.
Leo Luna (7-1) ran his rivals ragged as he bounced back to form with a bang in the Midshire Handicap Chase following three indifferent runs this term.
Jamie Moore made his intentions clear from the start of this three-mile heat and he had a willing mount who kept on resolutely to score by six lengths from No Duffer.
Forgiving Glance (5-2 joint-favourite) benefited from a drop in class to open her account in the Simon Butler Celebrating 25 Years Juvenile Hurdle.
After being highly-tried in a Grade One contest at Chepstow last time, Alan King's filly comfortably outpointed market rival Pillard by six lengths in the hands of Denis O'Regan.
The always-prominent Coolking (10-1), trained by Chris Gordon, plugged on stoutly for David Noonan to take the Walking The Courses 'Hands And Heels' Handicap Hurdle (Conditionals/Amateurs) by six lengths from Young Lou.