HORSE RACING: THOUSANDS of punters embraced the cold weather at Warwick Racecourse on Sunday as the venue welcomed its largest crowd of the calendar year.
Attendances at Warwick Racecourse have been on the rise since the decision was made to switch the venue to a national hunt only racecourse.
Coupled with the addition of new general manager Andre Klein and a keen team behind him, Warwick is amid its busiest – and most popular – period of business in years.
And Sunday’s packed grandstand proved just that as seven races entertained crowds at a meeting which only got the green light on Saturday morning.
Heavy snow and persistent rain in the days leading up to the course’s annual New Year’s Eve raceday put the meeting in doubt – some bookmakers even offered 25/1 for the course to race.
But a transformation down the back straight allowed the meeting to take place, and 6/1 chance TheManFrom Minella took the feature three-mile handicap chase worth £6,500.
The Ben Case trained runner held off a challenge from veteran Paddy The Oscar to win by four lengths.
Trainer Henry Daly rounded off 2017 in style when providing a quick fire double.
Black Tulip won the opening novices’ hurdle over 2m 5f for Nico De Boinville before joint favourite FlashJack overcame a last flight blunder to take the 3m 2f handicap hurdle.
Odds on chance Le Rocher was made to sweat in the closing stages of the 2m novices’ chase when 8/1 chance Royal Act led over the final fence.
Only a determined drive from jockey Tom Scudamore saw the 1/10 favourite get home ahead, albeit to playoff booing from the atmospheric crowd.
Outsiders Native Robin (11/1) and Samson’s Reach (8/1) took races five and six before impressive bumper runner Kingsplace (2/1) won the final race of the year for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Warwick next race on Saturday, January 13, for its Classic Chase event – the most prestigious race the course hosts.
Visit www.warwick.thejockeyclub.co.uk for further information and tickets.