• Racing/
  • Rigadin Beats Judge In Classic

Betfred Classic Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) 3m 5f

  • (5yo+, 3m 5f, Class 1, 13 runners)
  • Winner £34,170 2nd £12,822 3rd £6,420 4th £3,198 5th £1,608 6th £804
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 7m 48.40s
  • Off time: 15:35:14
  • Last Updated: January 12 2013, 16:57 GMT

Rigadin De Beauchene (5/1) got up in the last strides to land a thrilling renewal of the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.

Venetia Williams: Classic winner
Venetia Williams: Classic winner

Venetia Williams has had her string in terrific form all season and enjoyed another high profile success with victory in the three mile and five furlong handicap.

There were just half a dozen runners still in contention as the field turned into the back straight for the final time and that number had been halved after the first two fences on that stretch.

Rigadin De Beauchene was challenging between the front-running pair of Godsmejudge and Peat The Feat who was attempting to complete a six-timer.

It appeared as though the eventual winner's chance had gone not once but twice, after the eight year old dived at the last fence leaving the back straight and again, having clawed his way back into contention, at the last where another slow leap appeared to have cost him dearly.

Noel Fehily waited and waited before asking Pete The Feat for his effort but he looked a tired horse when short of room after the last as Godsmejudge appeared to tighten him up.

Alan King's novice looked sure to take the spoils only for Robbie Dunne to conjure another run out of his mount and mow him down close home.

Williams said: "I was encouraged when the horse that beat him at Lingfield came out and won the Sussex National and I was really thrilled with him today.

"He swung wide coming into the straight and thankfully met the last on a decent stride which definitely helped him to win.

"The owner has nominated the Welsh National for him next season and I hope he can emulate his brother and if he was ever to go for the Grand National he (the owner) would take a bit of convincing to agree to that.

"I think he really had a confidence-booster at Lingfield and he jumped much better today."

Dunne, who has not found opportunities easy to come by was grateful that his association with the winning trainer paid a big dividend.

"I'm a 3lb-claimer who can't ride in boys' races any more, so it isn't easy, but hopefully a win like this will help," he said.

"There is a whole team at the stable who put all of the work in and they deserve all of the credit.

"He jumped very well today. Although he was staying on I didn't think we were going to get there until after the last but the closer he got to them the more he put his head down and fought.

"The Midlands Grand National could be an option but I'm sure Venetia will have a plan. He's improving all of the time and will be even better next season - mentally and physically he is still on the weak side."

Noel Fehily was proud of the gallant Pete The Feat whose unbeaten run of five this season was finally broken back in third.

He said: "It was another very good run. He's jumped from fence to fence and galloped to the line."

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