Paul Ferguson has two selections from York for us on Wednesday; Foundry (3:05) and Martin Chuzzlewit (4:20) . Compare odds and bet.
The Ebor meeting gets underway at York on Wednesday and, a year on from Frankel’s brilliant display in the Juddmonte International, the feature on day one looks a fascinating contest.
Al Kazeem has taken all before him over this trip this season and bids to become the first horse to land the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, the Coral-Eclipse and this contest in the same year. Roger Charlton’s stable-star also bids to become the sixth winning favourite out of the last seven runnings.
Toronado, Trading Leather and Hillstar all try to bid to become just the third three-year-old to score in the past decade, with the previous two being Derby winners Authorized and Sea The Stars. That would indicate that stamina is required here over an extended 1m2f and the trip is the obvious concern with Richard Hannon’s Sussex Stakes winner.
If he stays, he is the quickest horse in the race and connections will be hopeful, as there isn’t a confirmed front-runner in the line-up. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trading Leather takes the race by the scruff of the neck and the opposition will have to be mindful not to allow him an easy lead.
Rewarded looks out of his depth, so the only other one to mention is Declaration Of War who has ground to make up with a couple of these. Under today’s conditions I could see him running well, though he has been in action three times since Royal Ascot and this could easily be one race too many. An intriguing affair, but one I’m happy to sit back and watch.
From a punting point of view, the opening day looks tricky, but I can’t help having a small interest in Foundry (3:05) in the Great Voltigeur Stakes.
Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo colt looked a high-class middle-distance prospect when winning on his sole start at two and, though the runner-up has yet to win in two starts since, those further back give that form a useful look. The third, fifth and sixth all have handicap placed form off marks in the 90s and Foundry beat his field by upwards of 5½ lengths.
Clearly he needs to take a massive step forward and this looks a fairly tall order on this belated reappearance, but it also indicates that he has been pleasing his powerful connections at home and, with the opposition not looking out of the ordinary, he is worth a small investment at 7/1 (Hills and SkyBet).
This Group 2 is often the key trial to the final Classic of the season, the St Leger, so expect to see Foundry shorten considerably if successful here. He is currently trading at 33/1 for the big one at Doncaster next month.
Later on the card, the 2m handicap looks a typically competitive contest for this meeting. Won last year by Olympiad, a horse I had my eye on from entry stage, he was not declared, but in the same colours Martin Chuzzlewit (4:20) is another who is worth a smart each-way interest.
Formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the four-year-old made a pleasing debut for David Simcock when a staying on fourth over 1m4f here at the Dante meeting and he was too keen for his own good when only sixth of seven here last time (steadily run race).
He will appreciate returning to a more truly run affair and the step up to 2m could bring about significant improvement. Down to a career low mark of 86, the son of Galileo ran a blinder when runner-up over 1m4f at this meeting last year, so clearly enjoys the Knavesmire.
The quick ground is a slight concern and I would have ideally liked to have seen some sort of headgear reapplied (despite my usual phobia of that kind of aid), but it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him bounce back to form and is worth taking a little chance on at 16/1 (Stan James).
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2013-14
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New for 2013-14:
Grade 1 winning jockeys Nick Scholfield and Jane Mangan provide readers with their horses to follow
Last years results included:
* Leading Prospects, Arvika Ligeonniere (x3), Boston Bob, Captain Conan (x3), Champagne Fever (x2 inc Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Glens Melody, Melodic Rendezvous, Simonsig (Arkle) & Un Atout won 13 Grade 1 novice contests between them
* My Tent Or Yours won 4 times including the Betfair Hurdle and the Top Novices’ at Aintree
* Stable Round-Up included Neptune winner The New One, Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Court Minstrel and David Pipe’s Dynaste of whom it read “could follow the Grands Crus path of last year, starting in the Steel Plate And Sections before he is readied for the Feltham” – he won both races and also scored at Aintree in April
* Across The Sea – Mount Benbulben 14/1 winner of the Grade 1 novice chase at the Punchestown Festival
* Under The Hammer – horses featured in this section included Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill (25/1) and The Liquidator, who won the equivalent Grade 1 at Punchestown – this section has been greatly increased for 2013-14