Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday; Lively Baron at Kelso and Ascot duo Vita Nova and Frankel Compare odds.
All eyes will be on Frankel (3:35) at Ascot this afternoon and it will be an anti-climax to the Flat season if he isn’t able to land the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and light up Qipco Champions Day.
A brilliant winner of the 2,000 Guineas, the Galileo colt was incredibly impressive in the Sussex Stakes last time and, while Canford Cliffs clearly didn’t run his race that day, it was still a special performance.
Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally could be in for a big day as Vita Nova (3:00) is taken to land the Fillies’ And Mares’ Stakes.
She was beaten by one of today’s opponents, Ferdoos, at Haydock in May, but the selection has improved while the winner hasn’t been seen since.
The Galileo filly should have won at the same track next time, only for the saddle to slip and she ran a gallant race in the Yorkshire Oaks last time, going down by ¾ of a length to Guineas and Irish Oaks heroine, Blue Bunting. The four-year-old can gain a much-deserved big race success here.
Paul Nicholls saddles a couple of interesting runners in the shape of Tonic Mellysse and Toubab at Cheltenham, but some of the stable’s runners have looked in need of their first start of the season, so the jumps selection comes from up at Kelso.
Lively Baron (2:10) was a useful hurdler last season for Donald McCain and Trevor Hemmings, but he could be a different proposition over fences and he begins his chasing career on a fair mark.
A son of Presenting, he likes a decent surface and won a bumper and twice over hurdles in the first half of last season.
2:10 Kelso: Lively Baron (11/4 Betfred)
3:00 Ascot: Vita Nova (4/1 Hills)
3:35 Ascot: Frankel (1/2 Ladbrokes)
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- AL FEROF won Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 10-1
- BENSALEM won Stewart Family Handicap 5-1
- BOBS WORTH won A Bartlett 15-8, 4/4 for year
- CAPTAIN CHRIS won Arkle Trophy 6-1
- FIRST LIEUTENANT won Neptune Investment 7-1
- (plus Grade 1 in Ireland 16-1)
- JAMES DE VASSY won Lanzarote Hurdle 8-1
- LONG RUN won King George 9-2, Gold Cup 7-2
- OSCAR WHISKY won Aintree Hurdle 6-1
- Peddlers Cross (Fighting Fifth Hurdle)
- Medermit (Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase)
- FINIAN’S RAINBOW (Maghull Novices’ Chase)
- WISHFULL THINKING (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)