Paul Ferguson has one selection for us on Friday; Twigline in the Sandown 2.25. Compare odds and bet.
Aside from the Cheltenham Festival, it’s not often that Willie Mullins sends a runner over to Britain and, while she appears to have plenty on her plate on just her second start since joining current connections from France, Twigline (2:25) is taken to land Sandown’s feature Listed mares’ novices’ hurdle.
The daughter of Martaline was given a very confident ride by Ruby Walsh when landing a maiden hurdle over this trip at Fairyhouse in November and she only had to be shaken up to score in ready fashion. The form of that race is average at best (placed horses have not franked the form) but that was her first start for two-and-a-half years, so she can be expected to have improved considerably.
She will need to, however, as she faces a Grade 1 winning chaser in the shape of market leader Utopie Des Bordes who made a winning debut for Nicky Henderson at Doncaster just 11 days ago.
Rated 146, she took her time to get the better of the 127-rated Call Me A Star (gave the winner 6lbs) so she maybe flattered by that official mark. She will no doubt improve for the step up in trip, but didn’t look overly big and I wonder if she will ever live up to her hefty €255,000.
With Mullins in such hot form (saddled 10 winners from his last 17 runners including last Saturday’s Grade 1 treble) preference is for the unexposed Twigline, who opened up 15/8 with Bet365 this morning.
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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)