Paul Ferguson has two selection for us on Sunday; Court Minstrel in the Plumpton 4.00 and Oscars Well in the Fairyhouse 4.30. Compare odds and bet.
The ground appeared to be drying out around the country yesterday and that will be music to the ears of Evan Williams, who has been avoiding testing conditions with his smart novice Court Minstrel (4:00) since he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle in January.
The six-year-old was a winner on his hurdles debut at Cheltenham back in October and was hampered when third behind Dodging Bullets and River Maigue back at the same track the following month.
Though those two failed to advertise the form in the Supreme Novices’ the selection remains potentially well treated on a mark of 131 and he ought to relish a strongly run handicap such as this Sussex Champion Hurdle.
Over in Ireland, Fairyhouse stages the opening day of their Irish Grand National meeting and the feature contest on day one, the Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup, can go the way Oscars Well (4:30) for Jessie Harrington and Robbie Power.
The high-class hurdler hasn’t done much wrong in his first season over fences, winning twice earlier in the campaign and the form of his most recent reversal looks a lot better now than it did at the time.
After Arvika Ligeonniere departed, he was unable to cope with Benefficient, who went on to land the Jewson at Cheltenham. The testing ground won’t pose any problems to the eight-year-old, who was a dual Grade 1 winner in his novice hurdle days, and he arrives here fresh over his optimum trip of 2m4f.
4:00 Plumpton: Court Minstrel; 7/4 William Hill
4:30 Fairyhouse: Oscars Well; 4/1 Skybet
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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)