Robbie Dunne and Rigadin De Beauchene return to the winner's enclosurePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Rigadin rally secures win as Pete finishes third
Report: Warwick, Saturday
Betfred Classic Chase (Grade 3) 5yo+, 3m5f
RIGADIN DE BEAUCHENE showed courage and tenacity in victory as he battled back to defeat Godsmejudge at Warwick, while Pete The Feat could only finish third after pulling hard early in the race.
The winner jumped the final fence of an epic handicap chase in third but crossed the line in first, handing a big-race victory to his jockey, 3lb claimer Robbie Dunne.
"I'm really pleased for Robbie," said trainer Venetia Williams. "He's ridden him from day one and done all his schooling and it wasn't always pretty."
It was a big step up in class for the eight-year-old winner, who was racing for a prize almost five times that of the richest race he tackled last year.
"He was always going to be a staying sort and there was no point finding out about him in little races. If you've got an improver you might as well go for a big prize," Williams added.
The spoils had looked certain to go to either Godsmejudge or Pete The Feat and the pair were neck and neck 100 yards from the line.
Pete The Feat, who had racked up five consecutive wins before this race, had proved headstrong earlier in the race and delivered a mighty performance to remain in contention for so long, but after he was forced to concede the rail in the straight his challenge failed.
The Alan King-trained Godsmejudge then looked nailed on for victory but that was reckoning without the valiant and doughty Rigadin De Beauchene.