Paul Ferguson has two selections from Uttoxter for us on Sunday; No No Charlie at 1.40 and Up To Something at 3.15. Compare odds and bet.
It’s Arc day in Paris and, while I don’t have an overly strong view on the contest, I couldn’t let my column pass with a mention towards the Group 1 event.
This time last week I thought Sea Moon looked an interesting outsider (20/1 at the time) but, since the high-profile withdrawals of last year’s heroine Danedream and the top-class Nathaniel, his price has halved and he makes less appeal.
Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old remains capable of going close at the highest level when getting his soft ground and he arrives here fresher than most.
Another who will relish the prevailing underfoot conditions is Great Heavens who has been a friend to this column throughout summer, winning a maiden, the Listed Lord Weinstock Stakes and Haydock’s Lancashire Oaks when selected here.
John Gosden’s filly, who is a full sister to the aforementioned Nathaniel, has since won the Irish Oaks and the deeper the ground the better her chance. Again, however, her price has contracted in the past day or so and the value has dried up.
Gosden and William Buick have another chance on the card courtesy of Izzi Top who should also relish the ground in the Prix De L’Opera. She too is a little shorter than expected, so the racing from France is best watched.
Over in Ireland the Grade 2 Friends Of Tipperary Hurdle gives another of our summer winners, Galway Hurdle hero Rebel Fitz, the chance to show he can mix it with the best as he takes on the high-class Thousand Stars.
In receipt of 5lbs and with race-fitness to his advantage, Michael Winters’ seven-year-old won’t get a better chance to lower the colours of Willie Mullins’ grey, but his price reflects that.
Early on Saturday evening he was available at 5/2 with Bet365 but, at the time of writing, that had become 5/4 and he was trading odds on elsewhere. Again, a watching brief is called for here, but this should tell us plenty for the season ahead (if Rebel Fitz is beaten this afternoon he is likely to switch to fences and head down the Arkle route).
On the domestic front Charlie Longsdon is fancied to saddle the winner of both divisions of the maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter, starting with No No Charlie (1:40) in the opener.
A non-runner when selected here last Saturday, the son of Croco Rouge was a 7-length winner of a Fontwell bumper when last seen in May, having earlier shown smart form in defeat.
The five-year-old has plenty of pace and can strike at the first time of asking over timber for Paddy Brennan. Jonjo O’Neill’s French import Taquin Du Seuil is a possible danger and the market is likely to tell us plenty about him.
In the second division unbeaten bumper performer Up To Something (3:15) is likely to be short, but should be very difficult to beat under Richard Johnson.
Johnson was aboard the four-year-old when he completed the hat-trick at Newbury, at the main expense of My Tent Or Yours, who went on to chase home The New One (easy winner over hurdles on Monday) in the Grade 2 at Aintree. It will be disappointing if he can’t take his on debut.
Longsdon could well complete the treble with Dawn Commander in the beginners’ chase, as he is expected to make his mark over fences this season. The five-year-old faces the experienced Ackertac here, however, and, with the Twiston-Davies horses invariably spot on at this time of year, there may not be much between the pair.
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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)