The Classic Chase card at Warwick has been boosted by the salvaged Veterans' Final, so fans of long-distance chasers are in for a treat. Keith Melrose from the Racing Post is very much one of those and here he looks ahead to Saturday's action.
Few observers could have missed Grey Dawning's round of jumping at Cheltenham last time, when he gave nary a care about the fences and did extremely well to finish a close second to Ginny's Destiny.
A horse with that much ability needs respecting. Yet he now runs at Warwick, and similarly lackadaisical jumping would quickly take him out of this Grade 2 novices' chase.
It is, therefore, much better to side with BROADWAY BOY, who has been battle-hardened at Cheltenham.
At the last two major meetings there, he has won a Listed novice and a Premier handicap against experienced rivals. There is a good chance that if Broadway Boy were running in the Classic Chase instead of this race, he would be favourite.
Both of his last two performances have been marked by bold jumping on the front and Broadway Boy and Warwick should get on like a house on fire.
Big horses sometimes struggle at Cheltenham, where the downhill run starts as races begin to warm up and less nimble sorts can become unbalanced.
You have been able to make that out in CITY CHIEF's runs at Prestbury Park this season, yet he has managed to compete in some good handicaps all the same.
Now, City Chief returns to a flatter track and that ought to suit as his best form to date has come at Wetherby and Ayr, which are both flat, left-handed tracks.
Warwick's fences are something he will have to overcome and his jumping has not always been 100 per cent fluent. The rhythm a horse might get into in a race is something that is hard to guess before they jump off, so in most marginal cases, it is better put to one side.
For reasons of not having direct course experience, City Chief is suggested as a win-only bet. Those looking to take advantage of bet365's extra place (paying four places each-way rather than the standard three) should instead consider course specialist Volcano, although he is an unlikely winner.
A Grade 2 novice winner last season, City Chief could be the most capable horse in this field and is the most attractive from a win perspective.
The Veterans' Final has been salvaged from last week's lost Sandown card and has attracted an even bigger field than the Classic Chase.
The reason for that is fairly simple: it is not often horses this old (all are 11 and older) are able to run for such a big price without the clear risk of running into an unexposed sort.
But, they might have done so here anyway. MILL GREEN is 12, but he has run only four times over fences in his life.
His chasing career was abandoned in summer 2021, only to be revived for the qualifier in this series held at this course in November.
Mill Green was second to the reopposing Thomas Darby that day. Even on collateral form, a 4lb pull in the weights for a one and three-quarter length beating makes him attractive.
The circumstances of the race also favoured the winner, and you could argue that on another day, Mill Green would have beaten him.
This horse has loads of big-handicap experience as a hurdler, so as long as his jumping holds up in this bigger field his clear advantage in terms of exposure over fences could come to the fore.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.