Paul Ferguson two selections for us on Saturday; Invictus in the 1:55 at Sandown at around 14/1 and Rigidity in the 2.20 at Limerick at 2/5.
As ever the EBF Final is a very competitive renewal and I could make cases for quite a lot of the 18 runners, with top-weight Dynaste and Paul Nicholls’ The Reformer a couple who look likely types.
However, at the prices and with Alan King’s horses in such good form, I can’t resist giving another chance to Invictus (1:55) now he encounters decent ground for the first time under rules.
A winner on good-to-firm between the flags at Horse & Jockey last March, the son of Flemensfirth was subsequently bought for £162,000 and was about to get off the mark for current connections at Leicester on his penultimate start when Robert Thornton was unseated after the second last.
He struggled in bad ground at Ffos Las last time and, as a mark of 125 may underestimate his ability, he is worth backing at 20/1 with all firms offering ¼ odds to 4 places.
Over at Limerick Rigidity (2:20) is fancied to make it two from two over timber and book his ticket to Aintree for the Grade 1 4-Y-O Anniversary Hurdle.
Formerly smart on the level for Henry Cecil, the son of Indian Ridge is now in the care of Edward O’Grady and he made an impressive winning hurdles debut at Gowran Park last month.
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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