A second and third for Paul Ferguson on Friday. Today Paul goes for Acey and Wayward Prince over the jumps at Cheltenham.
The race of the day on Saturday is without doubt the much-hyped Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, but for the day’s selections I’m heading to Cheltenham.
A Grade 1 winner over hurdles Wayward Prince (3:50) is an exciting recruit to the novice chase ranks and he is taken to land what looks a cracking renewal of the 3m Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices’ Chase.
An ex-Irish winning pointer, Ian Williams’ charge did nothing but improve throughout his first season under rules and rounded off the campaign with a gutsy display at Aintree in April.
This is no easy assignment on debut, but the six-year-old is fancied to score at the first time of asking.
In the opener, Paul Nicholls’ Aiteen Thirtythree sets a fair standard with an official rating of 130, but Acey (2:05) was a smart bumper performer in Ireland last year and has now switched to the in-form Nigel Twiston-Davies stable.
A dual bumper winner, the son of Milan finished third in a very hot contest at Leopardstown on his penultimate start last February and he looked a stayer in the making so it is no surprise to see him start off over this trip.
Incidentally, the stable won this contest in 2003 with the top-class Ollie Magern and again in 2008 when Diablo scored for Acey’s new owner.
2:05 Cheltenham: Acey
3:50 Cheltenham: Wayward Prince
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 18/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase