Paul Ferguson flags up a couple of top selections at Cheltenham today as the snows begin to thaw; Spirit River and Prince of Pirates.
Nicky Henderson turns 60 on Friday and the trainer can celebrate in style courtesy of a Cheltenham double.
Spirit River (12:10) can land a cracking opening novices’ chase, a race Henderson won with Dusk Duel back in 2000.
Twice a winner at Cheltenham over hurdles last term, including when landing the Coral Cup off 141 at the Festival, the five-year-old can make amends for his Newbury fall a fortnight ago and score at the second time of asking over fences.
Prince Of Pirates (3:35) can bookend the card and complete the double under Tony McCoy, who will hopefully be crowned as Sports Personality of the year next week.
The Milan gelding beat stable-mate Bobs Worth in a Kempton bumper in February, before meeting trouble in running in a hot contest at the Curragh in May.
Al Ferof, who finished runner-up to Cue Card in the Champion Bumper, has stronger form, but Paul Nicholls’ grey may need further to shine, so the value lies with Prince Of Pirates on their respective hurdles debuts.
12:10 Cheltenham Spirit River
3:35 Cheltenham Prince Of Pirates
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2010-11 is available hot off the press from the 1st October for just £9.99
Send a cheque payable to “The Racing Insider” to The Racing Insider, PO Box 98, Liverpool L9 1WY. Please include a note of your name and address and telephone number or email address.
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