Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday including Noble Prince in the 3.30 at Aintree. Compare odds and bet.
Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh can dominate proceedings at Chepstow this afternoon, with exciting French recruit Wonderful Charm (3:40) fancied to give the champion trainer a fourth Persian War success in six years.
The four-year-old was impressive when winning by 7 lengths at Auteuil in March and the son of Poliglote returned to the Paris track to mix it with the best of the French juveniles in a Grade 2, where he split Usual Suspects and Esmondo.
The winner has won twice since, including the Grade 1 Prix Alain Du Breil (the top four-year-old event in France), while the third has also since scored twice, latterly by 14 lengths only last week.
Forced to carry a double penalty, many of his age would struggle in this company, but he could be a high-class import who has had this as a target for some time. Available at 7/4 (Bet365) & 13/8 (Bet Victor) early on Friday evening, I imagine he’ll be well backed before the off.
Nicholls hasn’t won the valuable Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle since 2006 when Taranis won, but he can correct that day and complete a big race double with the very lightly-raced Salubrious (4:15).
A bumper winner for Pam Sly last September, he was a bitter disappointment on his first start for the stable in the Listed bumper at the Paddy Power meeting last November, but proved that all wrong when winning a decent novice hurdle at Taunton over Christmas.
The runner-up Carrigmorna King won next time before chasing home Ambion Wood in the EBF Final at Sandown, while the horse he beat in his bumper The Romford Pele (beat him 21 lengths) went on to finish seventh in the Champion Bumper and finished a sound second in a Cheltenham maiden hurdle last weekend.
The five-year-old looks potentially well treated on an opening mark of 129 and, though his inexperience is a slight concern in a race of this nature, it doesn’t look the strongest renewal and he could be a step ahead of the handicapper. The selection was available at 11/4 early on Friday evening with Bet365 and, again, I expect he’ll be well supported, despite his lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The feature up at Aintree is the Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase, in which Nicholls saddles the market leader, Pacha Du Polder. He is expected to take a big step forward this season but, at the prices, preference is for Noble Prince (3:30) who should relish 2m4f around this track on decent ground.
Paul Nolan’s eight-year-old hasn’t had much chance to race on a decent surface since winning the Jewson last year, but he showed top-class form behind Big Zeb in Ireland last winter and he looks sure to go close. The sponsors were offering 6/1 overnight and that looks worth taking each-way.
3:30 Aintree Noble Prince (each-way)
3:40 Chepstow Wonderful Charm
4:15 Chepstow Salubrious
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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)