Paul Ferguson has two selections from Newbury for us today; Colour Squadron in the 13.15 and Broardbackbob at the 14.00. Compare odds.
Newbury stages a cracking midweek card on Wednesday, where the high-class Time For Rupert bids to get back to winning ways in the graduation chase. Paul Webber’s stable-star really ought to be beating his three opponents this afternoon but, from a betting perspective, the two novice contests over hurdles make much more appeal.
Both the 2m maiden and the 2m3f novice look highly competitive and potentially hugely informative affairs.
Starting with the First Great Western Maiden Hurdle, where smart bumper performer Ericht sets the standard on his third to Steps To Freedom (Supreme Novices’ favourite) and Prospect Wells (easy winner since), while Montbazon is another classy bumper performer who is expected to have come on for his seasonal return.
Both are greatly respected, but at the forecast prices they are taken on with Colour Squadron (1:25) who ran a race full of promise when I put him up in a similar contest at the Hennessy meeting last month.
An impressive bumper winner at Chepstow in October, the five-year-old didn’t enjoy the run of the race when splitting It’s A Gimme and Mono Man (same connections as Ericht). The softer ground should bring about further improvement and he looks a solid each-way option; he was trading around 5/1 third best on the exchanges last night.
Polisky, one of the best maidens in training, is favourite for the EBF National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle and, while he is respected, he was doing his best work late on last time behind Fingal Bay, so it is a surprise to see him dropped in trip.
Philip Hobbs again provides the each-way option in the shape of Carrigorna King. The Irish points winner shaped well behind two smart ex Flat performers here on Hennessy day and will definitely appreciate the step up in trip, but the same can be said of Broardbackbob (2:00) who impressed on his debut for Nicky Henderson at Ascot last month and is taken to defy the penalty.
A useful bumper horse when trained in Ireland last term, he beat recent Aintree winner Cinders And Ashes on debut and gave the impression that a sterner test of stamina would be right up his street.
Fifth home at Ascot, Double Ross, gave the form a further boost when hacking up by 14 lengths in the opener at Folkestone yesterday and jockey Barry Geraghty was extremely bullish about his mount’s recent schooling session in his weekly blog on attheraces this weekend. Conceding weight to some smart horses won’t be easy, but he could well be up to the task.
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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)