Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Tominator in the 2.30 at Chester and Drive Time in the Killarney 3.50. Compare odds and bet.
Despite the Group race action from Sandown, the race of the day looks to be the Listed handicap over an extended 1m5f at Chester, in which a case could be made for several of the 14 strong field.
Communicator is the first place to start, having won impressively at the track a fortnight ago and, if in the same mood, he’s capable of going close. But, he’s up 9lbs for that success and faces much stiffer opposition here, so it’s worth looking elsewhere for a bit of each-way value.
Rosslyn Castle was another impressive course winner on soft ground at the May meeting and, after being gelded, he returned to action at Haydock three weeks ago when he was bitterly disappointing. He remains potentially a Group class performer and it would not be a surprise to see him bounce back on an easier surface, though against his elders it’s a tall order this afternoon.
The one to side with at the prices is Tominator (2:30) who finished only eighth in last week’s Ebor, three places behind Area Fifty One, who appeared not to truly stay.
The grey, who won last year’s Northumberland Plate, could well have finished a fair bit closer, however, given a bit more luck in running and he finished runner-up in this contest off a 1lb higher mark 12 months ago.
Good-to-soft ground suits the five-year-old ideally and the 16/1 on offer with Paddy Power this morning looks well worth taking in an open looking handicap, where he should get the strongly run race he craves.
Elsewhere Drive Time (3:50) bids to bounce back from his heavy fall in the Galway Hurdle, when he buried Ruby Walsh, and also maintain his 100% record on the Flat in the 2m1f event at Killarney.
The seven-year-old won both starts for Jim Bolger back in 2009 before switching to Howard Johnson’s stable and embarking on a hurdling career. He was switched to Willie Mullins’ yard after his novice season and made a winning start for the stable in a handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April, where he proved he could handle heavy ground.
Back on the Flat at this track last month, he bolted up in a race that has worked out really well since. The second won a handicap hurdle at the Galway Festival, the third ran well there, while the fourth home has since won twice, once over hurdles and once on the level.
The seven-year-old has a bit to find on official ratings with Aidan O’Brien’s Harrison’s Cave, but it will be disappointing if he can’t take care of this lot before reverting to hurdles in the winter.
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Last Year’s Book Results – Leading Prospects:
- SPRINTER SACRE – Unbeaten – winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- SIMONSIG – Winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- CINDERS AND ASHES – 10/1 winner of Supreme Novices Hurdle
- BOBS WORTH – 9/2 winner of the RSA Chase
- MENORAH & SILVINIACO CONTI – Both Aintree Winners
- SIR DES CHAMPS – Unbeaten inc 3/1 Jewson Cheltenham Winner
- FINGAL BAY – Won 4 times inc Challow Hurdle
- RAYA STAR – 10/3 winner at Wetherby, 12/1 Ladbroke Hurdle winner, 15/2 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner
- AMBION WOOD – 14/1 EBF Final Sandown winner
- CHAMPION COURT – 6/1 G2 Dipper Novices Chase winner
- PALACE JESTER – 14/1 winner at FFos Las
- SWINCOMBE FLAME – Hat-trick winner inc Lanzarote Hurdle at 9/2
- TEAFOR THREE – 5/1 NH Cheltenham Chase winner (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)