26th Jun, 2019

THE INSIDE TRACK: Andre Klein previews The Festival at Cheltenham

Ben Tyler 2nd Feb, 2019

Andre Klein is General Manager at Warwick Racecourse. In his latest column with the Observer he looks ahead to The Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.

THE majority of information punters need for The Festival, presented by Magners, at Cheltenham Racecourse is already there to be witnessed. Most of the key form races have been run, won and lost.

Thousands of people will be holding ante-post wagers containing horses that have caught their eye over the last few months and now will be keeping their fingers-crossed that their judgement is on the money.

Of course it’s all a bit of folly, because between making those selections and the biggest four days in racing in March, so much can change and invariably does….but that doesn’t stop us all dreaming.

One of the last key clues to The Festival takes place at Warwick Racecourse on Saturday, February 9. The Grade 2 Agetur Kingmaker Novice Chase is the highest graded race we run at our track.

It’s been won by some of the best horses of the last few decades and is a clear cut pointer for future stardom.

It never fails to deliver class. Whoever wins automatically becomes a personal favourite of mine because I’m a patriotic sort for winners at my home track.

Actually this has stood me in good stead of late. Last year’s winner Saint Calvados and the previous year’s victor Flying Angel have both been good to me.

Which Warwick warriors are going to The Festival with serious chances of success?

To name a few at the top of the market – Champ, Birchdale, Ok Corral, Keeper Hill, Laskadine, Hazel Hill, Impulsive Star and Kalashnikov – who is a hopeful starter for the Kingmaker Chase at Warwick.

I haven’t identified which races the above are likely to enter because some of them hold multiple entries at present.

One that doesn’t however is Hazel Hill, who bolted up in the Overbury Stud sponsored Willoughby de Broke Hunter Chase a few weeks back. He heads to the Foxhunters Chase and I think he represents our best chance of success at good odds.

If you want a good sight of a star of the future come racing at Warwick on February 9.

Another reason to come along is that Hook Norton Brewery are running a beer festival at the racecourse….. Why would you want to be anywhere else?

Remember to get your ticket online in advance as it’s significantly cheaper. Save your money for a Hazel Hill/Keeper Hill double at Cheltenham…. and remember who told you!

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