Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Friday; Bar De Ligne in the Market Rasen 2.30 and Secret Gesture in the Epsom 4.00. Compare odds and bet.
It’s Oaks day at Epsom and, though I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Liber Nauticus was the best of these long-term, Secret Gesture (4:00) looks more the finished article and can land the spoils for Ralph Beckett and Jim Crowley.
The impressive Lingfield Trial winner, who was available at 5/2 overnight, showed plenty of improvement on her return and has proven form on testing ground, when winning a heavy ground maiden at Newbury in October.
The Galileo filly scored by 10 lengths on her reappearance and the third, beaten 11½ lengths, franked the form when finishing much closer in the Italian Oaks last week.
Liber Nauticus is very much respected and, given her size, she can be expected to have improved considerably for her recent success in the Musidora. The longer trip is in her favour too, but she still looked rather green at York and she may be better suited at the Curragh in the Irish Oaks.
Moth is the other obvious contender, having stayed on in the 1,000 Guineas after meeting trouble in running. With Just The Judge franking the from in the Irish Guineas last week, she boasts the best single piece of form on offer, but needs to prove her stamina, even though being by Galileo.
Market Rasen stages a decent beginners’ chase earlier in the afternoon and the in-form Steve Gollings can strike with Bar De Ligne (2:30) who ran well for a long way in a decent handicap hurdle at Aintree a fortnight ago.
Since then, Gollings’ two runners have both won and the seven-year-old was a winner at this track at the second time of asking over hurdles (January last year), having run Harry Topper to 5 lengths on debut at Uttoxeter.
Prior to that he had won a bumper at the track on debut for current connections, before which he finished fourth to Simonsig in the valuable point-to-point bumper at Fairyhouse. He also finished third behind Rocky Creek and Rolling Aces in a 3m point, so he could easily come in to his own over fences.
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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)