Warwick: Hawkes Point swoops to Classic success
Paul Nicholls’ Hawkes Point returned to form in the first time blinkers to outstay his rivals in the feature race on the card at Warwick, the lung bursting Betfred Classic Chase over 3m 5f. Pulled up in the Welsh National last time, Nicholls’ charge had been dropped 6lb for that effort and that allowed him to get in here under a nice weight of 10st 12lb for this Grade 3 Handicap.
Last year’s winner, Shotgun Paddy was made to carry top weight but you wouldn’t have known that as the gallant 8y0 led the field along at a good pace, putting in a good round of jumping in the process. Emma Lavelle’s charge was still contesting the lead as the field turned for home but he had Hawkes Point and Theatrical Star for company.
Shotgun Paddy made a mess of the third last and this gave Hawkes Point a chance to hit the front. He stayed on gamely to the line under Sam Twiston-Davies, with Theatrical Star also staying on gamely for second and Shotgun Paddy tiring back into third.
Twiston-Davies said: “It was a standing start, as was the case at Chepstow and that doesn’t suit him, but the blinkers helped this time because he has travelled so well. Turning for home I was happy and I knew he’d go again after the last.”
Earlier on the card, the exciting Three Musketeers took the Grade 2 Leamington Novices Hurdle for Dan and Harry Skelton. Amazingly this was just the 5yo’s second racecourse appearance after an impressive debut victory at Wetherby. What he lacked in experience, he more than made up for in class, coming home 3/4 length to the good despite being green on the run in. The future looks bright for the son of Flemensfirth.
Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
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