Paul Ferguson has two selections on Saturday; Portrait King in the 15.25 at Ayr and Bronterre in the 15.10 at Newbury. Compare odds and bet
It’s Scottish Grand National day up at Ayr and the feature betting heat of the day can go to Ireland courtesy of the progressive novice Portrait King (3:25) for Maurice Phelan and Denis O’Regan, who rode the horse to win the Eider last time.
Earlier in the season he was running behind the likes of Bog Warrior and Flemenstar, before the step up to marathon trips saw his form take a sharp upward curve.
Runner-up to Smoking Aces at Fairyhouse in December, the grey turned that form around when winning the Punchestown Grand National Trial in February (runner-up Up The Beat went on to finish fourth to Sunnyhillboy at Cheltenham) over 3m4f.
The selection then defied an 18lb rise to land the Betfred Eider at Newcastle, where he’d have won with more in hand but for a mistake two out. Runner-up Posh Bird let the form down in the Midlands Grand National (sent off favourite but never really going) but Portrait King looked a horse destined to land a National of some sort that day and, being only seven, looks one to keep on side in such events.
The selection was 9/1 with Hills and Ladbrokes at the time of writing and also with Bet365, who are offering a 5th place, so there is each-way value to be had.
Down at Newbury the AON Greenham Stakes has lost quite a bit of interest with both Top Offer and Tales Of Grimm missing the race, but it now looks a good opportunity for Bronterre (3:10) to score for the in-form Richard Hannon, who took the Craven with Trumpet Major on Thursday.
Bronterre finished one place in front of that stable-mate when fourth in the Dewhurst last October and he now has the chance to lay his own 2,000 Guineas credentials on the line here.
Impressive when winning a Listed race on good-to-soft ground, he has Mill Reef winner Caspar Netscher to beat but, after 10 starts as a juvenile, it remains to be seen how much he will have progressed from two to three. The selection was trading at 8/11 at best overnight with Bet365 and 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)