Alan King hopes he has all angles covered in Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Wayne Hutchinson believes Alan King has all angles covered as he fields both Sego Success and Midnight Prayer in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick today.

Alan King hopes he has all angles covered in Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Hutchinson has opted to partner top weight Sego Success in the three-mile-five-furlong heat after partnering him to win at Doncaster before Christmas.

That leaves Tom Bellamy to take a useful 3lb off Midnight Prayer, who missed his intended engagement in last week’s Welsh National due to a last-minute setback.

Hutchinson rates the chances of both runners – and hopes he has plumped for the right one. He said: “We’ve been very happy with him.

He’s gone up 7lb for winning at Doncaster where he seemed to benefit from a positive ride as he jumped a lot better than he had been doing, he could be prone to making a few errors.

“It was a pleasing run, he’s probably got a bit more on his plate and with the weights going up he’s got top weight.

“We know he stays, he’s won at the track and he’ll go on the ground.

“He won a Listed chase on this card last year and on his best form he’s bang there.

“I was always going to ride this lad to be fair, but with Midnight Prayer as well we’ve got a few bases covered.

“As Sego won last time it was logical, but Midnight Prayer has been given a chance by the handicapper so hopefully we’ve got two good chances.”

King said on his website about the pair: “Sego Success is 7lb higher than he was on Town Moor, but he was so much more polished there and whether it was the front-running tactics or the fitting of cheekpieces, maybe a bit of both, I’m not sure, but it certainly worked.

“He won the novice chase on this card last year so the track should suit him and we have no worries on the score of stamina as he finished fifth in the four-miler at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.

“It might have been a blessing in disguise that Midnight Prayer had to miss Chepstow as he would not have enjoyed that testing ground last Saturday, but he has stopped coughing and scoped fine earlier this week, so we are happy to take his chance.

“He was one of the ante-post favourites for Chepstow, having run well on his comeback at Newbury over a trip which would have been too short for him, so he, too, goes there with solid prospects.”

At the other end of the scale to Sego Success, David Bridgwater saddles De Kerry Man off the minimum 10st.

Jake Hodson then takes a further 5lb off as the eight-year-old goes on a recovery mission after slipping up when still in contention on New Year’s Day at Cheltenham.

Bridgwater said: “He is an interesting runner off 10st. He’s only won over two miles and five furlongs for us, but he’s as slow as a boat at home so this might be what he wants.

“My horses, like a few other trainers, haven’t been quite 100 per cent so it would have been interesting to see how he’d have finished at Cheltenham before he slipped. I thought he was unfortunate, though.

“It’s been nothing in particular – I think it’s something to do with the weather as we’ve usually had a good cold spell by this point of the year and it’s been so up and down.

“I’ve improved a few from 80 or 90 to 115 or 120, so it would be nice if this horse could go on from here.

“He’s just my type of horse – a big, ugly chaser. But he’s a nice horse and even if Saturday isn’t his day, I think he has a good race in him.”

Rebecca Curtis sends Red Devil Lads in search of swift consolation after he crashed out of last week’s Welsh National at an early stage, unseating Jonathan Burke.

The trainer reports her charge to be none the worse for that mishap and is hoping he can complete the course this time.

She said: “He came out of Chepstow fine. He’s not the best jumper, but while I don’t think he would fall, he hits one or two of them hard sometimes.

“The testing ground probably does suit him, but it might be a bit gluey on Saturday which would be a bit of an unknown for him really.

“I’d like to see him put in a clear round and if he can do that, hopefully he can run a good race.

“We had nothing to lose really by running here.”

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