Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday, Michel Le Bon (3.05) and Cristal Bonus (4.10) at Kempton; Compare odds and bet
Paul Nicholls bounced back to form yesterday with three winners and the champion trainer can continue the resurgence at Kempton this afternoon, with the lightly-raced Michel Le Bon (3:05) fancied to land the feature Racing Plus Chase.
The nine-year-old was having just his second start over fences and his first start in two years when finishing mid-division in the Hennessy Gold Cup, but he went well for a long way that day and he remains on an attractive mark.
The son of Villez, who has long been held in high regard by Nicholls, has around 15 lengths to find with runner-up Planet Of Sound, but the selection remains open to any amount of improvement and today’s smaller field will help Ruby Walsh get him into a rhythm.
Given Philip Hobbs’s record in the race Planet Of Sound has to be greatly respected running off the same mark as he did in the Hennessy, but preference is for Michel Le Bon who could still go a long way over fences.
Cristal Bonus (4:10) can provide Nicholls and Walsh with the second leg of a big race double in the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase.
A high-class hurdler in France, he ran in the International Hurdle and Cleeve Hurdle for Evan Williams last term before joining the Nicholls yard. The six-year-old made a hugely impressive debut for the stable on his chasing bow at Chepstow in January, jumping fluently and effortlessly pulling 25 lengths clear of a useful yardstick in Simply Wings.
Good ground is a slight unknown, but he’s never had a chance to run on it previously and the selection looked a novice to follow when trouncing his five rivals last time.
The main danger is likely to be Nicky Henderson’s Minella Class, who was good enough to finish sixth in last year’s warm renewal of the Neptune Investment and he gave Peddlers Cross a race on his debut over fences. Since then he has unseated David Bass behind Cue Card at Newbury and, if that hasn’t left its mark, he is sure to be a big threat under Barry Geraghty.
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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)