Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Thursday; Western Approaches (13.20 Towc) & Mount Benbulben (3.25 Thur) Compare odds.
Despite the victory of Anquetta at Ascot on Saturday, Nicky Henderson has made a relatively slow start to the season, but his Western Approaches (1:20) ought to be up to winning the opener at Towcester on Thursday, with a solid run under her belt last month.
The four-year-old, who won a bumper at Bangor in May, finished a close up third in a competitive looking Cheltenham maiden hurdle and the front two have both won since.
A reproduction of that run should be good enough to land most mares’ only maiden hurdles and, with the good ground in her favour, she should be tough to beat.
Over in Ireland, Gordon Elliott has a smart prospect on his hands in the shape of Mount Benbulben (3:25) and the six-year-old can make amends for his unfortunate exit at Galway recently by taking the 2m2f maiden hurdle at Thurles.
The former points winner won twice in bumpers last season for Gillian Callaghan, latterly taking the scalp of Grade 1 winner Lovethehigherlaw, and he was travelling very kindly when slipping up on his hurdles debut 12 days ago.
It will be disappointing if he can’t get off the mark at the second time of asking and he was trading around the 5/6 mark, albeit to a small amount, on the exchanges last night. Western Approaches was also trading at similar odds and anything around Evens would appear fair for both.
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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)