Paul Ferguson has two selections from Aintree for us on Sunday; Theatre Guide in the 4.20 and Royal Guardsman at 4.50 Compare odds.
The second day of Aintree’s opening fixture of the season promises to be even more informative than yesterday’s action and the 2m4f Matalan Novices’ Chase is a cracking contest.
Some classy animals have taken this prize in recent years, including Star De Mohaison and Tidal Bay, and Bear’s Affair is a horse I am very fond of. However, he faces some stiff opposition here in the shape of Champion Court, Saint Are and Astracad, so he is best watched on debut.
The penultimate race on the card, the 2m4f novices’ hurdle, went the way of Cue Card last year and the same connections can scoop the prize once again with hurdling newcomer Theatre Guide (4:20).
The four-year-old beat Magnifique Etoile in a Chepstow bumper in April and that rival has franked the form by winning impressively twice, including when bolting up at Stratford on his hurdles bow yesterday.
He went on to shape well at Fairyhouse and looked the type who would have benefited greatly from his summer break.
At bigger odds, keep an eye on former points winner Distime, who is well regarded by the shrewd John Quinn and he could easily improve on his bumper form, now he goes jumping.
Colin and Joe Tizzard can complete the double in the concluding bumper when their exciting Royal Guardsman (4:55) is fancied to maintain his 100% record.
Like his stable-mate, he’s a son of King’s Theatre and he was hugely impressive when winning at Fontwell in April. The runner-up has since given the form some substance and the selection is held in very high regard.
Points winners Talkonthestreet and Merry King are an obvious pair to note in the market, while another who may go well at a nice price is Keith Reveley’s Swinging Sultan, who caught my eye when runner-up at Market Rasen in February.
Enjoy the day’s sport and I’ll be back Tuesday, as I’m taking a day off tomorrow.
4:20 Aintree: Theatre Guide; 7/2 Ladbrokes, Stan James, Paddy
4:55 Aintree: Royal Guardsman; 1/1 Bet365, Betfred, Skybet
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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)