Classic Chase 2022 Tips: Eclair looks a sweet selection at Warwick

Classic Chase Tips: Check out our best bet for Saturday's marathon event.
Classic Chase Tips: Check out our best bet for Saturday's marathon event.

A field of 15 are set to go to post for the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday, with some hoping they can book their place in the Grand National in April with a win in this marathon contest. We preview the 3m 5f 54y contest here...

Lucinda Russell saddled One For Arthur to glory in the Classic Chase back in 2017 before that star stayer went on to claim Grand National success only a few months later, and the Russell team will be bidding for Classic success once again at the weekend, as they unleash the well-fancied Corach Rambler. A winner of an Aintree event two starts ago, Corach Rambler kicked on impressively by winning comfortably at Cheltenham in December, and he will now go in search of a third win on the bounce, and he's a prominent figure in the betting.

A dour stayer, the eight-year-old has been handed another 8lbs hike by the handicapper for his Cheltenham win, so a mark of 142 is certainly going to test his abilities, and with top weight to carry here he's going to face an almighty task to keep the winning run going, and he could just falter to a more attractively handicapped rival.

Alan King's Notachance got the better of the Venetia Williams-trained Achille in a thrilling finish to last year's Classic Chase, and that pair are set to lock horns once again. Notachance won off a mark of 139 last season, and having failed to perform with any note in his races following his Warwick win he's fallen back down to a mark of 139. Sixth in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock in December, the Barbury Castle inmate will need to improve on that, but with stamina assured he can't be discounted.

Achille finished second last season off 134, and lines up off 138 this time around, so he could face a tougher assignment. The 12-year-old ran an almighty race when finishing an excellent fourth in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow last time out, the veteran is another with proven stamina, but as he ventures towards his teenage years his best days could be behind him.

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A fascinating contender at the lower end of the weights is David Pipe's Gericault Roque, who has been running well of late, but has just found one too good on his last two starts. Beaten by Pats Fancy off a mark of 123 at Chepstow last month, he was then just touched off by Saint Palais in the Mandarin at Newbury a couple of weeks ago off 127. He's been handed another 6lb rise for that effort, so he will take his chance off a career high mark of 133, but being only six years old he's still open to marked improvement. He's relished the steps up in trip and this looks a contest that could really suit his abilities, and he could well be the standout contender towards the head of the betting.

Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of the Classic Chase on three occasions and the Ditcheat handler will saddle Grace A Vous Enki in this year's contest. A faller last time out in a novices' hurdle at Hereford, he's an eye-catching contender now sent over fences, as he was a winner over the larger obstacles in France, so he could be worth watching in the betting.

One at a decent price that could run well is the Emma Lavelle-trained ECLAIR SURF, who was an excellent third in the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow back in early December, and having been dropped 1lb to a mark of 133, he could go close at double-figured odds. He was well beaten that day at Chepstow, but he appears to be a horse that will benefit from slower conditions, which he should get on Saturday, as his last two wins have come in heavy going. A winner off a mark of 131 earlier in his career, Lavelle's raider is sure to be doing all his best work late on, and he can cause a shock here.

Of the others, Dr Richard Newland's Minella Encore was a winner last time out, so has to be given a second look, while Padleyourowncanoe and Chirico Vallis add more depth to what should be a real energy-sapping contest.

Classic Chase
Eclair Surf silk

Eclair Surf

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Grand National Odds
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