A first and a third for Paul Ferguson at Cheltenham on Saturday. Today’s selections come from Cheltenham: Grands Crus 2.55 and Fontwell: Bubbly Bruce 3.40
The final day of the Open meeting looks arguably the most competitive card of the three-day fixture, with plenty of informative contests, starting with an intriguing renewal of the Independent Newspapers Novices’ Chase, in which a case could be made for all five runners.
The Greatwood Hurdle looks a cracking renewal too and I’ve had the race in mind for Menorah for a while now but, with further overnight rain expected, the ground could have gone against him.
Champion Court is another really interesting runner, but he faces a tall order on his hurdles debut, so the selection at Cheltenham goes to Grands Crus (2:55) who will be one horse that won’t be inconvenienced by any further rain.
David Pipe’s improving grey looks potentially well treated, especially on his last piece of form, when trying to concede 16lbs to Sanctuaire who went on to win the Fred Winter at the festival.
Paul Nicholls’ four-year-old runs in the feature contest off a mark of 146, while the selection gets in here off 126.
Grands Crus opened up at 10/1 on Saturday evening and has been steadily backed ever since, indicating a big run is expected on reappearance. Early price 7/2 Coral
Down at Fontwell Bubbly Bruce (3:40) should make a winning hurdles and British debut for trainer Charlie Mann.
A bumper winner at Thurles in February, he finished mid-division in the Champion Bumper and fifth at Punchestown on his last outing for his former connections. Early price 8/11 Paddy Power
2:55 Cheltenham: Grands Crus
3:40 Fontwell: Bubbly Bruce
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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