Paul Ferguson has four selections for us on Friday; Eduard in the 12.30 at Newcastle and Tour D’argent (2.30), Vulcanite (3.05), Close Touch (4.15) all at Fakenham. Compare odds and bet.
Fakenham stages a cracking card this afternoon where the Kettle Chips Handicap Hurdle can go the way of Vulcanite (3:05) who carries the J P McManus silks for the first time.
A classy performer on the Flat, he developed in to a smart novice hurdler last term, despite winning just once from five starts. His second behind Montbazon at Newbury reads well and, on looking back at the Supreme from Cheltenham, he was upsides that rival travelling well at the foot of the hill.
He appeared not to get up the hill and may have been over the top at Aintree, but he returns on a reasonable mark of 134. If he’s fit for this reappearance (some of Charlie Longsdon’s runners have needed the outing) he ought to take a bit of stopping around this tight track, despite facing some in-form rivals. The selection was trading at 9/4 with Bet365 overnight.
Elsewhere on the card, Longsdon’s former boss Nicky Henderson brings Tour D’Argent (2:30) back to the track just 10 days after falling on his chasing debut.
Backing him, therefore, comes with a warning, but he had jumped well early on and, again, this track ought to suit as he did go a little left at times at Huntingdon.
He is taken to make amends and Henderson and Barry Geraghty can double up with Close Touch (4:15) in the 2m novices’ hurdle. The Queen’s four-year-old took a Market Rasen bumper on his sole start last term and, though the runner-up has let the form down since, he appeals as the type to do well over timber this season.
This doesn’t look the toughest of starting points and connections will be disappointed if he hasn’t got his 100% record in tact around 4:20pm.
Up at Newcastle Eduard (12:30) is fancied to land division one of the LA Taxi’s Novices’ Hurdle for Nicky Richards and Davy Russell, who comes over to ride his two runners.
The four-year-old was really impressive in beating his stable-mate Duke Of Navan (Russell’s other mount who runs in division two) in a Kelso bumper in March and he is bred to make up in to a smart jumper.
This looks an ideal starting point and the Greystoke handler saddled a winner last Saturday. He looks a smart recruit for northern novice hurdles.
12:30 Newcastle Eduard
2:30 Fakenham Tour D’Argent
3:05 Fakenham Vulcanite
4:15 Fakenham Close Touch
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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)