Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton are the venues for Paul Ferguson’s selections on Saturday; Court In Motion, Mille Chief and Persian Snow.
There would appear to be plenty of pace on in this afternoon’s Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, despite the fact that there are only five runners, and the race could be set up for Mille Chief (3:45) who really needs to be winning this if he is to be genuinely considered as a Champion Hurdle contender.
Alan King’s five-year-old was hugely impressive under top-weight in a Sandown handicap last time and, in receipt of weight from three of his rivals here, the son of Ski Chief ought to be hard to beat on a track that should suit.
Up at Haydock Court In Motion (2:10) should be very tough to beat in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, with the testing ground right up his street.
The apple of Emma Lavelle’s eye, the six-year-old has to give weight away to all seven rivals, but he looked a serious prospect when winning at Warwick last time and the step up to 3m ought to bring about even further improvement.
His trainer believes he is a future Gold Cup horse and this looks the ideal stepping-stone to Cheltenham for the son of Fruits Of Love.
Persian Snow (4:40) was selected here last week to win the abandoned Grade 2 bumper at Newbury and, though Balding Banker was well beaten yesterday, he is fancied to win the final race on the card at Ascot today.
An impressive winner here in October, runner-up Balding Banker went on to score next time and surely failed to give his true running yesterday.
Held in high regard by Philip Hobbs, the Anshan gelding can book his place in the Champion Bumper by taking this, probably at the main expense of Mono Man.
2:10 Haydock: Court In Motion
3:45 Wincanton: Mille Chief
4:40 Ascot: Persian Snow
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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