With Tuesday’s jumps all abandoned, Paul Ferguson gives us five horse to keep an eye on later this season. Compare odds.
With today’s National Hunt cards at Sedgefield and Market Rasen the latest casualties to the bad weather and the all-weather action at Southwell and Wolverhampton not looking the best, I thought this a good time to take stock of what has gone on recently.
Today I’ve decided to nominate five bumper horses that have really caught my eye this season and could be worth following in the latter stages of the season. If the weather continues, I may take an early look at Saturday’s hugely exciting card at Newbury tomorrow or add further selections to our Cheltenham Festival ante-post portfolio (that currently stands at just Hurricane Fly).
Don Cossack (Gordon Elliott)
Only fifth on his racecourse debut at the Punchestown Festival in May, the five-year-old left that form a long way behind when winning a Naas bumper by 18 lengths in October, before scoring in Grade 2 company at Navan in December.
That was a fine effort to reel in a runaway pacesetter and he looks destined for much better things. Being owned by the Gigginstown House Stud, he won’t be considered for the Champion Bumper and is one to look out for in the Grade 1 at the Punchestown Festival.
Fickle Fortune (Noel Meade)
This four-year-old filly only made her racecourse debut at Down Royal last week, but she could hardly have been more impressive under a motionless Nina Carberry.
Sent off the odds-on favourite, the daughter of Heron Island had clearly shown plenty at home before and, judged by Noel Meade’s glowing comments afterwards, the easy debut success was expected.
She would be of interest with the allowances if given the go ahead for Cheltenham, but that race is a tough ask for a four-year-old and she could be ideal for the mares’ bumper at Aintree where it would take a very good mare to lower her colours judged on her debut success.
Mozoltov (Willie Mullins)
Runner-up to the classy Mount Benbulben on his sole start last term, this six-year-old easily got off the mark first time out this season when scoring impressively at Thurles in January.
The runner-up came out and won a couple of weeks later and the fact that he was held back for a second season in the bumper division indicates that connections think he can win a big one.
Willie Mullins trains current Champion Bumper favourite Champagne Fever, but this son of Kayf Tara could easily be among his squad for Cheltenham and the current price of 20/1 could look big on the day. He holds an entry at Naas on Saturday.
Population (John Ferguson)
Rookie trainer John Ferguson (no relation!) is enjoying a fine season and this son of Noverre has impressed in scoring twice at Ascot, back in October and November.
The form is nothing out of the ordinary and the Irish bumper form looks much stronger to me this season (hence the inclusion of four Irish trained horses here) but this Flat bred shouldn’t be underestimated and, whilst he is likely to run at Cheltenham, he could be one to consider for Aintree when his speed will come in to play.
Un Atout (Willie Mullins)
Like Don Cossack, this four-year-old won’t be heading to Cheltenham as he carries the Gigginstown silks, but he was very impressive when winning a Naas bumper by 24 lengths in early January.
By the same sire as classy stable-mates Quevega and Sir Des Champs, he is another to bear in mind for Punchestown, with the Easter fixture at Fairyhouse another possible target.
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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)