Paul Ferguson has two lunchtime selections today; Bishopsfurze (12.35 Thur) and Golden Chieftain (12.50 Utto) Compare odds.
Newbury’s three-day Winter Festival kicks off today and the undoubted highlight of the card is the second start over fences of last year’s World Hurdle second Grands Crus.
David Pipe’s grey takes on three useful rivals in the 3m Grade 2 novices’ chase and it is very much hoped that he takes this next step up the ladder in his stride and without mishap.
Uttoxeter also stages an interesting four-runner beginners’ chase in which a case could be made for any of the quartet, but Golden Chieftain (12:50) showed enough on debut, before falling, to suggest he can make the grade over fences.
Colin Tizzard’s six-year-old won a handicap hurdle here on Midlands Grand National day in March and appeals as the type to make up into a better chaser. Hopefully his recent fall won’t have dented his confidence and he can gain compensation.
It is interesting that Ruby Walsh has opted to remain on home soil rather than to ride at Newbury, though he has a fine book of rides for Willie Mullins at Thurles that includes Zaidpour and Apt Approach, both of who are likely to be sent off odds-on.
Walsh also takes the mount for Mullins aboard Bishopsfurze (12:35) in the opening beginners’ chase and the six-year-old can win first time out for the third season in a row.
A dual bumper winner the season before last, the selection’s three wins over hurdles last term included a success here in January and he won’t have any problem with the forecast heavy ground.
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Last Year’s Tips Included 40 Leading Prospects: £499.80 profit to a level £10!
- 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)