Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Mount Athos 3.50 Newmarket and Domtaline 4.45 Chepstow Compare odds.
Newmarket’s 34-runner Betfred Cesarewitch is as competitive as ever, but conditions have finally come right for top-weight Mount Athos (3:50) who can concede weight to all 33 rivals under Jimmy Fortune.
David Wachman’s four-year-old has only had his ground over this sort of trip once this season, when an unlucky fourth from a wide draw in the Chester Cup in May.
He again shaped well over an inadequate trip in Haydock’s Old Newton Cup and, despite not having showed the same sort of form in two races since, the Montjeu gelding can bounce right back over this marathon trip and on quick ground.
Available at 20/1 with both Stan James and Victor Chandler, he is worth each-way support from a good draw, with both firms offering ¼ odds to 5 places.
National Hunt racing always steps up a gear with Chepstow’s card this afternoon and, despite all the Group race action from HQ, the clash in the novice chase between Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card is the most exciting race of the day for me.
From a punting point of view Domtaline (4:45) makes more appeal in what looks a fairly weak renewal of the limited handicap for four-year-olds.
Paul Nicholls’ grey won the juvenile event on this card by 25 lengths last year, before flopping badly at Wetherby later in the month. His only subsequent start came when falling in the gloom behind Grandouet at Newbury over Christmas.
He still seemed to be travelling well that day and Nicholls has confirmed that this has been the target since he returned to training. It will be disappointing if he isn’t able to justify favouritism under Ruby Walsh.
3:50 Newmarket: Mount Athos (e/w 20/1 Stan James / VC)
4:45 Chepstow: Domtaline (11/10 general)
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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)