Friday January 15

Mention the Classic Chase at Warwick to Alan brings a glint in his eye as he recalls two wins plus a brace of seconds in the Betfred-sponsored marathon, courtesy of Dargent, West End Rocker and Godsmejudge, and the trainer heads for one of his favourite tracks tomorrow with two major chances in the feature, Sego Success and Midnight Prayer.

Alan said:”This has been the target for Sego Success since he won so well at Doncaster last month, but obviously it was Plan B for Midnight Prayer after he had to be pulled out of the Welsh National because of coughing.

“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.

“We also have Wishing And Hoping going there for the Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle. He is unbeaten in two races over hurdles and steps up in trip here, but I am glad that they have had a couple of rain-free days as I would not have wanted the ground too deep.

“Finally, we run Passmore in the fillies junior bumper up at Wetherby. She has finished second in both her runs so far and has had a little break since Towcester, where things did not go quite right for her. We have always liked her and she should give a good account of herself.”