Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Friday; Key To The West in the 2.05 and Irish Buccaneer in the 2.40 both at Exeter. Compare odds and bet.
Sandown stages a cracking card to whet the appetite for tomorrow’s Tingle Creek showdown, where the Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle is the feature, but the day’s selections come from Exeter.
Novice chaser Fingal Bay is the main draw on the card and his stable-mate Irish Buccaneer (2:40) is taken to make a winning return in the second division of the 2m1f novices’ hurdle.
Philip Hobbs’ five-year-old ran on in taking fashion to land a Chepstow bumper in April and, while the form might not have been fully tested (fourth has won twice over hurdles to be fair), the runner-up has since been snapped up for £90,000 and is also now in the Hobbs yard.
He looks a nice type and, being completely unexposed, he remains one to keep onside, while in the first division of the same contest Key To The West (2:05) looks worthy of each-way support in what looks a much deeper race.
The Italian Yob ran really well over course-and-distance last time, while Hobbs saddles a couple of interesting runners and Jonjo O’Neill’s The Nephew will appreciate the better ground than what he encountered at Ascot in a bumper a couple of weeks ago.
But, if the tissue price is to be believed (12/1 last night), the selection is worth a small investment as he has run behind some smart individuals in three bumpers to date. He made his seasonal return in a Cheltenham bumper in October, when some of Charlie Longsdon’s horses were needing the run (debut for yard) and he improved on that to keep on well at Uttoxeter last time.
The winner of those two contests both run in the Grade 2 at Sandown, so you get the idea of the company he has been keeping. With the Longsdon horses in such hot form, this looks a good time for the five-year-old to make his hurdling bow and he can be expected to go well.
2:05Exeter Key To The West (each-way) 9/1
2:40 Exeter Irish Buccaneer 5/4
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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)