Classic Chase Runners Guide & Entries: 18 entered for Grand National trial at Warwick

A bumper field of stayers are set to do battle in the Classic Chase this weekend.
A bumper field of stayers are set to do battle in the Classic Chase this weekend.

Eighteen horses have been entered for Saturday's Classic Chase at Warwick, which will see a plethora of dour stayers do battle with some potentially eyeing up a Grand National bid later on in the season...

The Lucinda Russell-trained One For Arthur was a fine winner of the Classic Chase back in 2017 and only a few months later the top notch stayer went on to claim Grand National glory at Aintree in early April, so the potential 18 runners doing battle at Warwick on Saturday afternoon could all hold aspirations of emulating Russell's charge, and we pick out some of the eye-catching entries here.

Russell will hope lightning strikes twice as she has entered the hugely progressive Corach Rambler, who could go in search of a hat-trick at the weekend. A winner at Aintree in October, the eight-year-old then went on to claim a Cheltenham prize impressively in December, and if he can continue to improve then he has to be considered a leading contender. Russell could also saddle the evergreen 12-year-old Big River, who was a winner last time out, and excels over marathon trips.

Another that has sparkled at Cheltenham in recent times is the Venetia Williams-trained Commodore, who obliterated a strong Cheltenham field last time out, which included the classy Santini, and the galloping grey will be hoping to kick on from that Prestbury Park success, where he produced a sparkling round of jumping at the home of Jumps racing. Like the Russell yard, the Venetia Williams team could be doubly represented, with last year's runner-up Achille another potential contender for this season's Ladbrokes Trophy-winning trainer.

David Pipe has an eye-catching runner in the shape of six-year-old Gericault Roque, who has finished second on his last two starts, but has shaped like he could shape into an exciting marathon performer in time to come, and he could be a prominent figure in the betting.

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Defeating Achille by half-a-length in last year's race, the Alan King-trained Notachance is set to try and retain his crown in 2022, and now eight years old, he should still have plenty of miles remaining on the clock, so with proven course and distance form has to be a prominent figure for most punters.

Dr Richard Newland's Minella Encore was a runaway winner at Fakenham on his seasonal reappearance in October, but failed to build on that when pulling up at Cheltenham next time out. However, he bounded to victory at Ludlow on his last start, so if he can bring his A game then he has to come into consideration.

A brace of last-time-out winners include Neil Mulholland's Chirico Vallis, who won at Chepstow over three miles, and Henry Daly's Head To The Stars, who won over that same distance at Ludlow. Paul Nicholls last trained the winner of this race back in 2015 with Hawkes Point and he has entered the eye-catching six-year-old Grace A Vous Enki, who was a faller at Hereford last time out, while Jerrysback, No Rematch and The Hollow Ginge add more depth to the race.

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