Kempton stages a seven race card this afternoon and the two novice hurdles look like cracking contests on paper.
Arkle winner Captain Chris took the opening national hunt novices’ hurdle last year and, though the penalised pairing are greatly respected, David Arbuthnot’s Shuil Royale (2:10) is worth another chance in receipt of 6lbs.
The dual bumper winner was slightly disappointing on his hurdles bow at Sandown last month, but the winner won again yesterday and the runner-up is highly regarded, plus the selection may improve for better ground.
The son of King’s Theatre looked a smart prospect at Wincanton on his penultimate outing and it wouldn’t be a huge shock if he returned to winning ways here.
The 2m5f novice hurdle looks even more competitive, with Henry King out to confirm recent Taunton form over Romulus D’Artaix on worse terms, while the useful Lion On The Prowl returns from 325 days on the sidelines.
It can, however, pay to take a chance on Dixie Bull (3:15) who has yet to complete in two starts over hurdles, but is a striking individual that has plenty of natural ability.
Runner-up in a bumper last term, he was running a massive race when falling at the last on debut at Newbury in November and he was pulled-up there earlier this month after making a serious mistake down the back.
Obviously, we can only hope that his confidence hasn’t been knocked too badly, but his price will factor this in and he may represent a bit of a value in a decent evernt that should work out well in the coming weeks.
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