Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Pallasator in the Haydock 3.15 and Goodwood Mirage in the Ascot 3.30. Compare odds and bet.
With plenty of rain forecast in the area, Sir Mark Prescott will be happy and his Pallasator (3:15) is taken to defy both top-weight and the best part of a year off, to land Haydock’s Old Borough Cup.
The four-year-old, last seen winning a heavy ground handicap over course-and-distance last September, was forced to miss the Ebor due to the ground being deemed too quick at declaration stage (ended up turning soft) and he could well gain compensation in what looks a slightly weaker event.
Conceding weight all around in a race of this nature is never easy, but plenty of these may struggle if the ground turns pretty soft and it is hoped that all 16 line-up, for each-way purposes, with the selection available at 9/2 with Bet Victor and Paddy Power on Friday evening.
Down at Ascot, the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap looks a corking three-year-old event in which a case could be made for several of the 15-strong field (sadly Renew heading to Haydock means we’re already down to 3 places for each-way terms).
The one I’m siding with, however, is Goodwood Mirage (3:30) who won nicely at Goodwood in June and returned to the same track to run a cracker when runner-up to Retirement Plan at the Glorious meeting.
That race is working out quite well, with the fourth (twice), the fifth, the sixth and the eighth all winning since, while others, including third home Silver Dixie, have run well in defeat. Given that his two victories have come on soft and good, any overnight rain would probably aid his cause, though he also handled quicker conditions when fourth at the July meeting.
William Knight has his horses in decent order, with three of his past ten runners (prior to yesterday) successful, and the selection was a best price 10/1 with Paddy Power early on Friday. He is another worthy of each-way support.
Over in Ireland Shell House bids to boost the form of stable-mate Dazzling in the opener at Leopardstown, though she is likely to be pretty short, while Free Eagle is also sure to be popular in the Group 3 Icon Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Trial.
Hugely impressive when winning a maiden over course-and-distance, Dermot Weld’s High Chaparral colt looks a very exciting prospect and it will be disappointed if he fails to back up that debut success here. He, too, may well be pretty short, but be sure to pay attention to both two-year-olds, if they’re too short to back.
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