Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Moonlight Drive at Haydock and Sailors Warn at Ascot. Compare odds.
If Ascot passes an 8am precautionary inspection, Irish raider Sailors Warn (3:35) is worth an each-way interest in the big betting heat of the day, The Ladbroke.
There aren’t many of the 17 strong field who will relish the deteriorating conditions and the more testing the ground becomes, the better the chance of the selection.
Beaten just over 9 lengths into sixth in the Triumph Hurdle in March, where he led the field in to the straight, he has since won a minor contest at Limerick before a couple of seconds that read pretty well.
He appeared to run up to last season’s form when again failing to give weight to smart filly Unaccompanied last time, having previously gone down by 1¼ lengths to Supreme Novice Hurdle favourite Steps To Freedom.
Edward O’Grady’s charge was conceding 9lbs to the winner, who went on to beat Prospect Wells (today’s favourite) by a neck at Cheltenham when conceding 3lbs.
With conditions to suit and Tony McCoy booked, a solid run looks assured and he represents fair value at double-figure odds with Coral.
Haydock also needs to pass a precautionary inspection at 8am to stage it’s six race card, with all six races sponsored by Maxilead Metals, who see their own Moonlight Drive (2:10) return to the smaller obstacles in the valuable 2m4f handicap hurdle.
The former Irish points winner finished runner-up to Carpincho (who ran well for a long way behind Time For Rupert in midweek) on his chase debut recently but, given his connections, this race could well have been on the radar for some time.
He beat the smart Trustan Times at Wetherby on his debut over hurdles in February, where he looked a thorough stayer. He went on to be pulled-up in the Albert Bartlett, but the ground was too quick for him that day and, though he drops back in distance this afternoon, this is sure to be a war of attrition in the conditions.
The five-year-old opened up 8/1 with VC on Friday evening, but that was soon a thing of the past, though he still rates a sound each-way play at his current odds of 6/1.
2:10 Haydock: Moonlight Drive each-way (6/1 Bet365 / Hills)
3:35 Ascot: Sailors Warn each-way (10/1 Coral)
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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)