Paul Ferguson has two selections today; Kentford Grey Lady (2.40 Newb) and Tornade D’Estruval (2.50 Bang); Compare odds
Though she faces plenty of unexposed rivals who she has to concede weight to Kentford Grey Lady (2:40) is the one to side with in today’s feature at Newbury, the Listed mares’ novices’ handicap hurdle final.
Emma Lavelle’s six-year-old has gone from strength to strength since winning here at the Hennessy meeting in November and her second to Quevega 11 days ago stands out as the single best piece of form on offer.
She stayed on strongly that day, leading many to believe she’ll be better served once back up in trip to 3m, but a strongly run handicap such as this is what she is really after and I don’t see the trip as an issue in what will surely be a truly run affair.
More of a worry is whether or not this race will come too quickly for her, but it’s not hard to envisage the striking grey arriving on the scene travelling kindly for Noel Fehily. With that in mind, she’s worth backing each-way (5/1 best price overnight) incase her Cheltenham exertions catch up with her in the closing stages.
For those who like breeding lines, it’s worth remembering that the selection’s dam, Kentford Grebe, won this contest back in 2004 for Seamus Mullins.
Nicky Henderson continues in a rich vein of form and, though he has a few sound chances at his local track Newbury, the Lambourn handler can strike at Bangor-On-Dee with Tornade D’Estruval (2:50).
A winner at Vichy in May, the daughter of Network (sire of stable-mate and brilliant Arkle winner Sprinter Sacre) shaped well on her debut for current connections at Ascot in October where she clearly blew up.
Her only subsequent start came in the Highflyer Bloodstock Four Years Old Chase at Warwick in November when she took a nasty fall at the last.
The five-year-old was weak in the finish on both starts to date and, having had a lengthy break since, it would not come as a big surprise if she returned to action a much stronger mare.
On a track that suits positively ridden horses, she is worth one more chance against Call Back, who was beaten by one of the selections’ lesser light stable-companions at Ludlow last time.
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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)