Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Thursday; Highland Lodge in the 12:50 at Towcester and Doyly Carte in the Musselburgh 2.00 Compare odds and bet.
A decent beginners’ chase opens the card at Towcester this afternoon, in which a chance is taken on Highland Lodge (12:50) despite the lengthy lay-off and his lack of experience.
Emma Lavelle’s points winner looked good when winning novice hurdles at Exeter and Haydock last winter, before he flopped when favourite for a Grade 2 at Warwick in January.
Reportedly still feeling the ill effects of his tough race at Haydock that day, he missed the end of season festivals as he needs soft ground and today’s stamina test should prove right up his street, provided he is fit for his return (the market should be a good guide as the Lavelle yard knows the time of day).
The second race on the card, a 2m mares novices hurdle, looks a cracking match up too. Nicky Henderson does well in these races and Springinherstep looked one to follow when bolting up at Southwell in July in what was a weak contest.
But, she faces a filly with proven solid form in bumpers so the race is, therefore, best watched. That filly is Warren Greatrex’s Umadachar, who split Call Me A Star and Eleven Fifty Nine at Sandown and then chased home the same pair at Aintree. It should be a good contest between the two.
Up at Musselburgh another filly who finished down the field in that Listed mares only bumper at Aintree Doyly Carte (2:00) appears to have been found a nice opportunity to make a winning hurdles debut by Donald McCain.
A half-sister to the classy Flat performer Dandino, the four-year-old was an impressive winner of a Catterick bumper on debut in January, before finishing runner-up under a penalty at Kelso.
Ninth at Aintree, this looks a distinctly winnable contest and, with her stable in good form, she ought to be tough to beat under Jason Maguire.
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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)