London – Cogry can enjoy his day in the UK staying spotlight by winning the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday
Nigel Twiston-Davies has this season become the go-to guy in big Saturday handicaps, and the Naunton handler must be relatively optimistic of another sizeable payday in this Grade Three.
That is because Cogry is a very useful operator, having perhaps most notably finished a neck second to Vicente in last season’s Scottish National.
He has also been placed in a Midlands National, so punters can be safe in the knowledge he will have the stamina for this battle.
Cogry was pulled up in the Ladbrokes Trophy on his last start in December, but he is probably not good enough to win a race of that quality so that performance is perhaps best forgotten.
It would, then, be more beneficial with the Classic Chase in mind to focus upon his rousing display at Cheltenham in October when he won a 5000m handicap chase by four lengths.
The nine-year-old is now higher in the weights, of course, but at least Jamie Bargary takes off 1.5kg, whereas Sam Twiston-Davies did the steering at Cheltenham.
Cogry can never be entirely trusted in the jumping department, but he has won before over fences at Warwick and this looks an ideal fit for him at this stage of the season.
Topofthegame looks a worthy ally in the 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.
The six-year-old chestnut is all about potential, having raced just four times since his transfer from Ireland last March, and is held in pretty high regard by Paul Nicholls.
Topofthegame also has the profile to become a solid chaser, but he fell on his fencing debut at Newbury last month.
He had done well until that late mistake, however, so there are clearly going to be other days for him.
Yet before he goes back chasing, it makes perfect sense to have a go at a race like the Lanzarote, in which he runs off a mark of 139.
Topofthegame won a maiden hurdle at Ascot over a similar sort of trip and has also done well when the mud is flying.
It will be very interesting to see how he gets on in a particularly open renewal of the valuable Listed handicap.
Good Flat stuff at Lingfield, where the likeable Boom The Groom should kick on in the Betway Sprint Handicap.
Tony Carroll’s seven-year-old has not won for an age but he is weighted accordingly.
Indeed, he ought to be a wee bit sharper than at Chelmsford earlier in the month, when a fine second to Udontdodou on what was his first start since last September. – Press Association
Suggestions (UK starting times):
KEMPTON: 12.20 Redicean, 12.55 Duke Debarry, 1.30 Bishops Court, 2.05 Josses Hill, 2.40 Topofthegame, 3.15 Fountains Windfall, 3.45 Charming Zen.
LINGFIELD: 12.15 Every Chance, 12.50 Lady Perignon, 1.25 Boom The Groom, 2.00 Goring, 2.35 Cliffs Of Capri, 3.10 Sheer Intensity, 3.40 Taste The Salt.
PUNCHESTOWN: 12.25 Aranhill Rascal, 1.00 Arbre De Vie, 1.35 Without Limites, 2.10 Getabird, 2.45 Impact Factor, 3.20 A Hardy Nailer, 3.50 Iamastartoo.
WARWICK: 12.40 Ardmayle, 1.15 Azzuri, 1.50 Flintham, 2.25 Sykes, 3.00 Mr Whipped, 3.35 COGRY (NAP), 4.05 Baby Ted.
WETHERBY: 12.30 Noble Robin, 1.05 Mortens Leam, 1.40 Perseid, 2.15 Just Cameron, 2.50 Morning Royalty, 3.25 Hargam, 3.55 Fforbidden Love.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Muthraab Aldaar, 6.15 Dellaguista, 6.45 Indian Red, 7.15 Monte Cinq, 7.45 The Amber Fort, 8.15 Cool Spirit, 8.45 Gift In Time, 9.15 Prince Consort.
DOUBLE: Cogry and Topofthegame.