Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Satuday including; That’s Rhythm in the Bangor 5.20. Compare odds and bet.
It’s Scottish Grand National day up at Ayr and the QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle looks a cracking contest this year, with the returning Grumeti heading the weights for last year’s winning trainer Alan King.
On a line through juvenile hurdle rival Countrywide Flame he looks fairly treated on a mark of 153 and could easily make a winning return, but it would take some training performance to get him back after 329 days (last Flat run) and he faces some smart and in-form sorts here.
Regular readers will know I’m a fan of Ifandbutwhynot, who has done us a couple of good turns this season, and he again looks capable of a bold showing under Timmy Murphy, but Court Minstrel (2:40) is another novice I have huge respect for and this can prove ample compensation for connections after he was forced to miss the County Hurdle.
That may well have been a blessing in disguise, as the six-year-old doesn’t act in testing ground, so it is hoped that the ground continues to dry out overnight. If it does, he looks the one to be with, despite a 10lb rise for his recent Plumpton success and, while he needs to step forward again, he remains open to plenty of improvement. Evan Williams’ charge was available at 9/2 with Bet Victor on Friday evening and (assuming the ground isn’t too bad) he should be hard to keep out the frame in what looks a competitive renewal.
Down at Newbury Richard Hannon can take the Greenham Stakes again, this time with Olympic Glory (3:30) who only suffered defeat once at two, at the hands of the top-class Dawn Approach in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Choisir colt went on to win his next three, completing the hat-trick in the Grand Criterium at Longchamp on Arc day. He has proven form in soft ground, so conditions won’t be a problem for him, whereas chief market rival Moohaajim looked to have a quick ground action as a juvenile.
Hannon has already taken one 2,000 Guineas trial this week with Toronado and he can do so again this afternoon with Olympic Glory, who has available at 4/5 overnight.
Up at Bangor-On-Dee Diamond King is of interest in the bumper having looked good on debut, but the form of that race hasn’t worked out at all, so the best bet on the card comes in the hunter chase in the shape of course specialist That’s Rhythm (5:20).
The winner of this race 12 months ago, he is five from five over fences here under rules and in this sphere, and will relish the return to lesser company. He does need to bounce back from a fall at the Cheltenham Festival and backing 13-year-olds isn’t always advisable, but he is a standing dish around here and it is only 11 months since he gave Salsify a race at Stratford.
At his best on good ground, he ought to be tough to beat in this grade, though useful handicapper Cool Mission is an interesting runner for local trainer Donald McCain.
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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)