Paul Ferguson heads to Newmarket for both of his selections on Friday; El Muqbil in the 2.20 and Dordogne in the 2.55.
Due to the drying ground, Cheltenham’s opening card of the season has cut up slightly so, despite an interesting four-runner novice chase, I’m heading to Newmarket for Friday’s betting opportunities.
The 1m Houghton Conditions Stakes looks between the top two and I’m siding with impressive Goodwood winner Dorgodne (2:55) who created a favourable impression on debut.
Mark Johnston had the option of running his Singspiel colt in Monday’s Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, so the fact he sends him south for this shows a distinct hint of confidence.
Earlier on the card El Muqbil (2:20) can get off the mark at the third time of asking.
Brian Meehan has his juveniles in fine shape at present and he probably should have won at York last time, had he not hit the front so soon.
He sets a fair standard, though a market check is advised about the newcomers, especially John Gosden’s runner as the trainer has saddled the winner of this contest five times in the past ten years.
2:20 Newmarket: El Muqbil
2:55 Newmarket: Dordogne
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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