Paul Ferguson has a trio of selections from Exeter today; Jump City (14.20), Ghizao (14.50) and Menorah (15.20) Compare odds.
Exeter throws up a midweek treat this afternoon on a card that could well be dominated by Paul Nicholls and Philip Hobbs.
It’s a very big day for Hobbs, who saddles Captain Chris in the Haldon Gold Cup and, though he rates a very exciting prospect for the months ahead, he is taken on with Nicholls’ Ghizao (2:50).
The seven-year-old clearly didn’t run his race when 29 lengths off Captain Chris in the Arkle as he had already beaten him twice in the first half of the season. On the second of those successes, he easily gave his old rival 10lbs and is in receipt of 5lbs this afternoon.
Captain Chris clearly improved for meeting better ground in the spring, but he may well want further as the season goes on and, with Nicholls saddling a double at Kempton yesterday, Ghizao is taken to strike.
Irish raider Zaarito isn’t one to dismiss lightly after a lay-off and it is a shame there isn’t another runner, as he would appeal as a viable each-way alternative if there had been eight runners.
Hobbs can gain revenge over Nicholls in the very next race when Menorah (3:20) makes his eagerly awaited chasing debut in the 2m1f novices’ chase.
Fifth in the Champion Hurdle in March, the six-year-old is a top-class recruit to the chasing ranks and he ought to have too much pace for Sam Winner in a fascinating three-runner affair.
A falsely run contest could be a slight concern for Menorah, as he has been keen in the past, but both Sam Winner and Shammick Boy have made the running in the past so they ought to stride on and give the favourite something to aim at.
Earlier on the card, Nicholls and Hobbs saddle the top two in the betting (tissue prices on Monday evening) in the opening two novice hurdles and the second race on the card has gone to one of the pair in seven of the past eight renewals.
Big Easy is therefore clearly an interesting recruit to the Hobbs yard, but Jump City (2:20) has already shown a fair level of form when runner-up to Smad Place at Wincanton in February and he should be difficult to beat.
His connections took the race with the smart Royal Charm two years ago and the five-year-old can provide Nicholls with a fourth win in the race since 2006.
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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)