Paul Ferguson has one selection for us on Friday; White Nile in the York 13:55. Compare odds and bet.
The opening Sky Bet Stakes is a typical York handicap, for which the unexposed pair Winterlude and Gospel Choir headed the market overnight.
The former is a three-year-old who arrives here in search of a hat-trick, while the latter was most progressive prior to his final start last season and makes his belated reappearance this afternoon.
Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old is a likely improver, but has the burden of top-weight to contend with here and, with a similar profile (in that he is an unexposed four-year-old making his seasonal reappearance), a chance is taken on David Simcock’s White Nile (1:55).
Un-raced at two, the Galileo colt raced just three times last term, beating the smart Noble Silk in a Newcastle maiden before getting done on the line in a Thirsk handicap when last sighted in September.
More than 11 months on the sidelines is a slight concern, as is the fact he has yet to encounter anything other than easy ground, but his full-sister Sense Of Purpose handled quicker ground (runner-up in a Listed event on good-to-firm) and she really came into her own at four, for Dermot Weld and Moyglare Stud Farm.
Up 2lbs since last seen, the selection appealed as the sort to improve considerably as a four-year-old and was a horse I thought capable of landing a nice prize this season (although I had anticipated on seeing him rather sooner). Thrown in the deep-end a little on return, he could well outrun his odds of 12/1 (Bet Victor overnight) and is worthy of each-way support in the hope that he is fully wound-up.
1:55 York: White Nile; 12/1 Betvictor
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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
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* 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