Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Thursday; Matthew Riley in the Perth 5.20 and at Punchestown, Quevega (5.30) and Upsie (7.15) . Compare odds and bet.
On Tuesday Sprinter Sacre became the first horse since Istabraq in 1999 to win at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown in the same season and, just two days on, World and Liverpool Hurdle winner Solwhit bids to repeat the trick in Thursday’s feature Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle.
Having proven himself the leading staying hurdler of the season, Charles Byrnes’ stable-star is a worthy market leader, but in Quevega (5:30) he faces a mare out of the top drawer and the five-time Festival winner is fancied to take this contest for the fourth year in a row.
Though not seen at her best at Cheltenham last month, the daughter of Robin Des Champs overcame trouble in running at the top of hill, when clipping heels, to land a fifth mares hurdle.
She has arguably been more impressive here in the past three seasons and, while she will need to improve again if Solwhit brings his A game, Ruby Walsh’s mount is given the nod in receipt of a handy 7lbs. The selection was a best price 7/4 with Boylesports overnight.
Later on the card, Willie Mullins saddles a mare at the other end of her career and Upsie (7:15) is fancied to maintain her 100% record in the mares novice hurdle.
Twice a winner in French bumpers, the daughter of Le Balafre created a big impression when making a winning debut for her current connections at Naas in February.
She did quite a bit wrong on that occasion but, despite making a hash of the final flight, the five-year-old was still able to win with plenty in hand and in the style of a classy prospect in the making. She opened up 10/11 with Paddy Power last night.
On the domestic front Matthew Riley (5:20) is taken to continue to make up for lost time in the concluding handicap hurdle at Perth.
A classy bumper performer a couple of seasons ago, he bumped into Runswick Royal on his hurdles debut in March after almost two years off, before winning at Newcastle on Easter Monday.
Runswick Royal gave his form a huge boost when finishing second to L’Unique in the Grade 1 4-Y-O Anniversary Hurdle at Aintree earlier this month and, with the Philip Kirby yard among the winners of late, he looks worth supporting on an opening mark of 126.
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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)