A visit to Warwick on Saturday was a trip worth making with Saint Calvados stealing the show courtesy of a superb round of jumping to win the graded chase and make odds of 4-6 look like the punting equivalent of finding money in the street. Comparisons with Arkle favourite Footpad are not far-fetched, and the clash between the rising stars of the two-mile novice chasing scene will be one of the Festival highlights in a month’s time.
Later on the Warwick card, there was plenty of anger in the stands from backers of Kylemore Lough, who held a 15-length lead coming into the home straight but was out on his feet when collared at the last by Casse Tete. Jockey Niall Madden, who had never ridden Kylemore Lough before and rarely rides a winner at Warwick, must surely shoulder blame along with trainer Harry Fry for the gelding’s extraordinary defeat.
It was poor judgement on Madden’s behalf to go hammer and tongs up front with a rival that dropped away, leaving poor old Kylemore Lough with nothing left for the closing stages. There was a twenty-five grand prize up for grabs, and I was surprised Fry failed to book a better jockey if he was serious about winning.
With Misterton folding like a drop-leaf table when push came to shove in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury after another hell-for-leather ride from the front (Nick Scholfield this time), it's back to the drawing board for Fry after a disappointing Saturday.