SCOTTISH trainer Lucinder Russell made full use of the 600 plus mile round trip to Warwick Racecourse on Saturday as her eight-year-old One For Arthur scooped the feature Betfred Classic Chase.
Worth £60,000 in prize money, the Classic Chase meeting is the stand-out fixture on the racecourse’s calendar – and another strong crowd turned out as Warwick continues to build on its reputation as being one of the best small jumps courses in the UK.
Despite being held up throughout the race, One For Arthur made rapid progress down the backstraight in testing conditions as several strong contenders failed to adapt to the heavy ground.
Strong fancies Doctor Harper, Sego Success and Ballycross were all pulled up as the field was reduced to just 11 turning home.
Kerry Lee – who saddled three in the race after winning with Russe Blanc 12 months ago – looked to be in with a chance as the remaining runners had two left to jump, but her contender GoodToKnow faded, gifting One For Arthur his third win in just 15 months.
Favourite Shotgun Paddy ran on well to claim third while ten-year-old Houblon Des Obeaux filled the final place position.
Elsewhere, the promising Willoughby Court went on to win the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle after a confident ride from David Bass earned the six-year-old an impressive eight length victory.
Leading from the start, Willoughby Court made all and soon had all five rivals off the bridle turning home.
On Gayebury provided any potential threat with a strong run to pick up second in the closing strides – while favourite Geordie Des Champs struggled and came last of the six runners.
A double for jockey Noel Fehily meanwhile was overshadowed by his fall on Kaki De La Pree at the second in the Classic Chase.
Fehily, who rode Overtown Express and American to victory in the afternoon’s second and third races, fell heavily in the feature race and was taken off to hospital for a precautionary check on his shoulder – he missed his rides in Ireland at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Warwick’s next meeting takes place on Thursday, January 26, as the annual midweek jumps meeting takes place.
Visit www.warwick.thejockeyclub.co.uk for tickets which can be purchased from just £12.50.