Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday; Tamayuz Star in the Newmarket 2.45, Drive Time (3.05) and Benefficient (5.20) at Listowel. Compare odds and bet.
Newmarket stages two valuable Tattersalls Millions contests this afternoon and the colt’s event can go the way of Tamayuz Star (2:45) for Richard Hannon and Pat Dobbs.
The chestnut beat Flow (a winner for this column on Thursday) on debut before chasing home another of our recent winners Steeler in a Listed event at Goodwood.
The selection gave the favourite a fright that day, showing plenty of pace on the sharp end (which indicates the drop in trip won’t be a problem) and the form is working out really well.
The third and fourth have won since, while Mark Johnston is talking in terms of the Racing Post Trophy for the winner. A reproduction of that form should make him tough to beat here.
Over at Listowel Drive Time (3:05) is taken to return to winning ways on his return to hurdles in the 2m4f handicap. Despite being burdened with top-weight, the Galway Hurdle favourite (took a heavy fall) still looks capable of winning off his current mark and the step up in trip will suit.
The ground is no issue to the seven-year-old who won on heavy ground at Punchestown in April and Ruby Walsh’s mount remains fairly unexposed over timber.
Willie Mullins has several other chances on the card at likely short odds, most notably Tarla in the 1m6f Flat contest, but she meets Missunited, another mare I have plenty of respect for and one that is in the form of her life at the minute.
Mullins also saddles Twinlight in the first division of the beginners chase and, though he looks capable of going close, Ruby Walsh is taken to complete the double aboard the Tony Martin-trained Benefficient (5:20) in the last (division II) instead.
The Grade 1 winning hurdler is a previous points winner and, having won his maiden hurdle on heavy ground at Navan last December, he ought to handle today’s conditions.
The six-year-old sprung a shock in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle in February, but that doesn’t mean he is not a smart animal in his own right and he can prove that over fences this term.
Walsh won aboard the chestnut at Navan and, given that he has form over further, expect him to race prominently throughout. A clear round should make him difficult to beat on his chasing debut.
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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)