Nicky Henderson racked up his quickest ever century earlier in the week and, following the victory of Kells Belle at Ludlow yesterday, the Master of Seven Barrows is now just one win away from 2,000.
The Lambourn-based handler will be disappointed if he doesn’t achieve that milestone at Huntingdon this afternoon, a track at which he has saddled five winners at the past two meetings.
Topsham Belle is his first chance in the novices’ handicap chase, but A Media Luz (3:10) would have more obvious claims in the juvenile hurdle.
The filly looked all over the winner when crashing out at the penultimate flight last time, having earlier chased home stable-mate and Triumph Hurdle favourite, Grandouet, at Newbury.
She has 7 lengths to make up on Pantxoa from her debut at Cheltenham, but she failed to settle that day and, while Alan King’s gelding is very much one to follow long-term, A Media Luz should take some beating in receipt of 15lbs and on a sharp track that is bound to suit.
Barry Geragthy takes the ride, after which his only other mount comes aboard another exciting mare in the shape of Heather Royal (4:40) in the closing bumper and Barbers Shop’s half-sister is fancied to complete a double for the trainer and jockey.
The daughter of Medicean made a really taking debut at Bangor in May, where she beat Dorabelle comfortably and the runner-up has since won three times over hurdles.
She was due to return at Ascot earlier in the season and, while a bout of colic put pay to that, connections have been patient with her since.
The five-year-old still holds a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle entry, which shows how highly she is regarded in her powerful stable.
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