Paul Ferguson has one selection for us on Saturday; Vasco Du Ronceray in the 14.45 at Doncaster. Compare odds and bet.
It’s Saturday so it goes without saying that Nicky Henderson is set for an important day and a couple of his hurdling stars run in the last two races at Cheltenham, with Oscar Whisky looking to have a penalty kick in the last.
Grandouet returns to action in the International Hurdle, a race he won last year on his last start and he was developing into a Champion Hurdle contender before injury kicked in. His smooth style of racing should be suited by the make up of today’s race, as he’s likely to slipstream Rock On Ruby and Zarkandar in to the straight.
But, with a 371-day lay-off to overcome and the heavy ground a negative (has form on it in France but likely to blunt his speed), he is best watched in an intriguing contest.
The same owners’ Vasco Du Ronceray (2:45) avoids a re-match with Far West at Cheltenham and heads up north to Doncaster for the Grade 2 BetVictor.com Summit Juvenile Hurdle, where the flatter track and better ground will play to his strengths.
He travelled supremely well at Cheltenham last month and pulled well clear of the third, leaving the impression he will be well suited by less demanding conditions.
A winner by 32 lengths at Hereford on his British debut, he receives 3lbs from his main market rival Sametegal here and, though Paul Nicholls’ charge won impressively at Wetherby last month, the selection is readily preferred under the likely conditions.
The son of Al Namix (same sire as Grandouet incidentally) was trading at 13/8 with Paddy Power on Friday evening and I can see him being well backed, especially if Far West wins impressively again at Cheltenham.
2:45 Doncaster Vasco Du Ronceray
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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)