WARWICK RACEDAY NEWS: Reaction after first two races
Cabot Cliffs could be set for a tilt for next months Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival supporting WellChild, after springing a minor surprise to win the South West Syndicate Juvenile Hurdle at Warwick with an all-the-way success.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Heross Du Seuil was a commanding 4-7 favourite for the seven-runner contest after being sent here instead of to Saturdays Grade Two Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton.
But he rarely threatened to land a blow on the leader as Harry Skelton kicked his charge clear for an unchallenged 17-length success, and it was a performance which saw Cabot Cliffs shorted into a general price of 10-1 for next months Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Tom Messenger, assistant trainer to Dan Skelton, believes the four year old is more than entitled to take his chance at Jumps HQ next month and might even go to Aintree as well.
Speaking after the race, he said: It was impressive and hes been improving all the way through the winter.
He came to us as a bit of a nervy horse, and his confidence is sky high now.
He's improving with every run, so its very much onwards and upwards with him.
He is in the Fred Winter (Boodles) at Cheltenham so well see what the handicapper does today.
He's not in the Triumph, but theres the Grade One juvenile race at Aintree (the Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Hurdle), so something like that in the spring could be ideal for him.
He definitely deserves to take his chance in one of those races, if not both.
Another horse with a bright future is the Alan King-trained Jay Bee Why, who justified odds-on favouritism to pick up a second win at Warwick in the British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
The six year old is building a good record at the track and held his own in last months Grade Two Ballymore Leamington Novices Hurdle form which has since been boosted by the fourth-placed Midnight River winning in good style at Ascot last week.
A delighted King hinted that he will show patience with his charge, having opted against entering him for next months Cheltenham Festival.
He explained: It was a nice display.
He's just growing up all the time, and I love the way he settled today and jumped well.
He probably wasnt doing too much between the last two and then went on and quickened up, so Im pleased with him.
They all finished in a bit of a heap (last month at Warwick), but the fourth won well at Ascot last week and he's a horse we like.
We are just sort of making him at the moment, but he will likely go chasing next year. I did not put him in for Cheltenham because he would not have been ready for that this year, but he will run again this season.