The Warrior may run well first time up

February 10th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Last week worked out very well with Topofthegame winning well at Sandown. He had finished fourth to George William at Kempton, a form-line which I think will give us more winners. The bonus was the price; finding value is very difficult these days, especially once all the breakfast skirmishing is done, but he started at 11/2 favourite, which I thought very fair.

The same level of confidence about the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday would be welcome but it is immeasurably harder to work out. Even choosing between the ones trained by Nicky Henderson would be hard but I shall let him go this time in favour of Harry Fry and Misterton, though he was easy enough to back at 20/1 late on Friday.

People are put off by longish absences but there is no need to be. Misterton was a very good second to Elgin at Cheltenham in November and that is a very strong piece of form. Running (and winning) soon afterwards would have left him with a very hard task here and letting him tick over at home is perfectly understandable. I quite liked his reappearance victory over Man Of Plenty at Chepstow, as well. I’ve written about Man Of Plenty often enough; unfashionably trained and ridden, he has just missed a place in the hottest handicap hurdles and I guess his time has gone, which is a pity. Misterton gave him nearly a stone and beat him with a little to spare; it’s another good form-line.

I knew Henry Daly wouldn’t let Back To The Thatch run from 10lb out of the weights in the Listed novices’ handicap chase. It just isn’t his way of doing things but this is a good chaser in the making and we should look out for him. Henry also thought of running him in the Mandarin here, so he must be held in high regard.

I shall have a little each-way on Misterton and a little each-way on The Warrior, who is a hard horse to win with and has not truly justified the outlay since arriving at Amanda Perrett’s from Ballydoyle. He kept going close in seven-furlong and mile handicaps last year, though, and I believe he tries harder these days. He is also the type to do best first time up, so you might risk a little of your hard-earned at Lingfield. And I do mean ‘a little’.