Warwick's Saturday Preview - 12/01/2019

12:40 - Texan Nomad

The opening race from Warwick is the Trial Racing TV For Free Now Novices' Handicap Hurdle, and Texan Nomad can make it two from two in 2019.

A 20/1 winner just last week at Wincanton in this class and distance, and a 7lb rise seems fair.

Rex Dingle jumps aboard for Ronald Harris and immediately takes 5lb off, so effectively off 2lb higher, he should be in the hunt for another win.

13:15 - Movie Legend

Movie Legend was a few lengths behind Hell's Kitchen at Ascot before Christmas, but improvement is expected from Lucy Wadham, as he tackles the second race - the racingtv.com Edward Courage Cup Handicap Chase.

Harry Fry's 7yo was on his best behaviour at the Berkshire venue and pulled clear, but Movie Legend was in a race of his own back in third, and held on well to his placed finish towards the line.

Drops in grade and should be involved as a result.

13:50 - Rocky’s Treasure

Rocky's Treasure has been a revelation since switching to fences, and has only been beaten once - to arguably the best in the division (Santini), in five starts.

Four wins from five however this campaign, with victories at Kelso, Fakenham, Wetherby and Doncaster latest, in a Grade Two, and now drops in Grade for the Listed Hampton Novices' Chase.

Should have Ok Corral covered on ratings, and looks another leading light for Kim Bailey who also has the promising novice Vinndication.

Penalty to carry, but the one to beat.

14:25 - Birchdale

Birchdale currently heads the way for Grade 2 Ballymore Leamington Novices Hurdle for Nicky Henderson.

The Champion Trainer was left disappointed after the run of Rathhill in the same ownership in the Tolworth a week ago, and now has another novice Festival hopeful in this 5yo, who could go down the avenue of this named race - in the 2m5f division.

Birchdale is a course and distance winner on his sole start over timber, when running on strongly in the closing stages to land a maiden, with the third also boosting the form by winning since.

Leading contender.

15:00 - Step Back

Step Back is back again, hoping to boost his Grand National credentials in the Grade 3 Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick.

The 9yo's victory in the Sandown Gold Cup back in April on the last day of last season is being boosted all the time. The second - Rock The Kasbah won the G3 BetVictor.com Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November, whilst the third - Present Man, landed back to back Listed Badger Ales Trophies at Wincanton.

There have also been wins for the fourth and fifth, and eighth and ninth placed-finished horses in major contests since.

Step Back returned to finish seventh at Chepstow latest, but would have improved his fitness and sharpness, and now heads to the very same race One For Arthur won, on his route to the 2017 Grand National.

15:35 - First Assignment

Next up, is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, and First Assignment can get back to winning ways for Ian Williams after starting the season with much promise.

He was a beaten favourite when last seen at Haydock (third to Paisley Park in a Grade 3), but remains largely progressive and of significant interest.

Receives 10lbs from Blaklion, and should be involved.

16:05 - Saint Dalina

The final race is the Racing TV Free For A Month 'Newcomers' Standard Open NH Flat Race, and all six going to post are unraced maidens.

Therefore, we have selected Charlie Longsdon's 5yo mare, who is a half-sister to a useful 2m5f hurdle winner Mon Lino. She is also a half-sister to a French Grade 2 hurdle winner in Multipass, and to a 2m flat winner Dalamine - who is the dam of high-class chaser Don Poli.

Plenty of talent in the family and worth a go here.

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