Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Friday; Many Clouds; Ascot 12:55, Clondaw Kaempfer; 2.30 Haydock and Gevrey Chambertin; 3.05 Haydock. Compare odds and bet.
Haydock stages a cracking card on Friday to whet the appetite for the Betfair Chase the following day and the Betfair Don’t Settle For Less Novices’ Chase is arguably the race of the day.
Classy hurdler Poungach looked far from a natural at Wincanton and has cheek pieces applied here, where he faces Gullinbursti and Super Duty, both of whom made hugely promising starts to their chasing careers. The trip will be ideal for both, but they may want better ground to be seen at their best, while Knock A Hand will relish the testing conditions.
This is a race to watch and savour, while the first bet on the card comes in the shape of Clondaw Kaempfer (2:30) in the Read Nicholls & McCain Exclusively On Betfair Novices’ Hurdle.
It is interesting that Paul Nicholls provides the likely main danger to Donald McCain’s exciting four-year-old (given the name of the contest), but the selection created a very favourable impression at Aintree and it will be disappointing if he fails to make it two from two, despite the drop in trip.
The Fairyhouse bumper winner handled similar conditions when making a winning British debut and he was trading at 6/5 with Paddy Power early on Thursday evening.
Nicholls will be hopeful of landing the “fixed brush” novices’ hurdle with Wilton Milan, who looked very green when scooting clear of a subsequent winner at Worcester on his debut under rules.
Terry Warner’s four-year-old looks to have a bright future, but conditions might just favour David Pipe’s Gevrey Chambertin (3:05) who won his bumper in heavy ground by 30 lengths at Ffos Las last December.
A full-brother to Grands Crus, he will relish the step up in trip having made a winning debut over hurdles at Aintree last month, when the majority of the hurdles were omitted due to low sun.
The grey is yet another exciting youngster on show at the Merseyside venue this afternoon and confidence will be increased should Many Clouds (12:55) land the opener down at Ascot.
Oliver Sherwood’s five-year-old gave him a fright at Aintree and looked as though he would come on for the run. Again, the step up in trip will suit this five-year-old, who won a bumper at Wetherby by 12 lengths in February.
The son of Cloudings went on to finish ninth to Champagne Fever in the Champion Bumper and midfield behind The New One in the Grade 2 at Aintree, he looks another with a very bright future and he is worthy of support in what looks a fairly warm maiden hurdle.
12:55 Ascot: Many Clouds
2:30 Haydock: Clondaw Kaempfer
3:05 Haydock: Gevrey Chambertin
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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)