Paul Ferguson gives us the heads up on a couple of horses that have caught his eye recently amidst the snowy conditions.
Even the all-weather card at Lingfield is under threat on Thursday, so the series of jumps horses to follow continues with a couple of juveniles that have caught my eye in the early weeks of the season.
Pantxoa (A King)
It was announced on Wednesday that Robert Thornton was fit to return to the saddle as soon as the weather improves and this son of Daliapour was one of three horses the jockey confessed to being most excited about riding.
Judged on his sole start in Britain, it’s not hard to see why as he landed the odds despite having to make the running and racing keenly throughout.
Once he learns to settle, he could be pretty smart and Alan King spoke glowingly of him in his recent stable tour, nominating him as a potential future chasing star.
He holds an entry at Sandown on Friday, though the weather will determine if he runs at the Esher track.
Titan De Sarti (N J Henderson)
Sam Winner rightfully took the plaudits after his demolition job in Cheltenham’s Grade 2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at the Open meeting, but this son of Kapgarde also looked one to note, despite finishing only fifth after being sent off favourite.
A winner of both starts on the Flat in his native France, Nicky Henderson’s charge looked rather green throughout and is sure to improve dramatically for this initial experience, in what was the hottest juvenile hurdle run this season.
He should have little trouble getting off the mark in the near future, before stepping back up in to graded company.
Fingers crossed that Sandown’s Friday card passes a 9am inspection on Thursday, but looking at the weather reports, Clonmel’s card in Ireland on Sunday looks the most likely jumps fixture to beat the weather.
Should the freeze continue, I will take an ante-post look at a couple of big races over the weekend.
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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