Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Alive Alive Oh in the Curragh 3.35 & Foundry 3.50 at Doncaster. Compare odds and bet.
It’s the final Classic of the season at Doncaster this afternoon and, those who read my column in Racing Ahead magazine will know, my shortlist has consisted of Galileo Rock and Foundry for sometime now.
The former hasn’t been seen since finishing runner-up in the Irish Derby and, having been declared for the Irish St Leger on Sunday, too, there is a slight concern that his chance is evaporating with every drop of rain.
Since I wrote that Racing Ahead feature Foundry (3:50) made a really encouraging return to action in the Great Voltigeur at York, where he chased home Telescope over 1m4f. That contest is usually a good pointer to the St Leger and the step up in trip looks as though it will suit. Since then his price has been slashed considerably (33/1 before his reappearance at York) and, while it may feel as though you have missed the boat if you’re not on already, he still looks worthy of each-way support in a fairly open renewal.
Completely unexposed, many an expert has stated the ground has turned against him, too, but he won his maiden in impressive fashion on soft ground last November and I expect him to handle conditions. Ryan Moore has been booked and he looks all set to run a massive race around the 6/1 mark.
Of the remainder, stable-mate Leading Light is sure to be popular, given he has proven stamina and no ground issues, while John Gosden’s Excess Knowledge has been all the rage overnight and will probably now start favourite; the Monsun colt ought to relish the long straight on the Town Moor.
At bigger prices, Oaks heroine Talent should relish the trip and the easy underfoot conditions, but she flopped badly in Ireland last time and Ralph Beckett has confessed that he would have ideally got a run in to her before today, while Great Hall is a colt regular readers of this column will know I’m a big fan of. He has plenty to find here, however, and, though a thorough stamina test should play to his strengths, it is pretty hard to be too confident of him bridging the gap with some proven Group class performers. I would dearly love to see him gelded and sent to Nicky Henderson with a Triumph Hurdle campaign in mind (apologies for my National Hunt bias shining through here!) though that is fairly unlikely at this stage, especially if he puts up a bold show this afternoon.
Elsewhere on the card, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Bishop Roko bounce back in the 1m4f handicap, given how well he travelled for a long way in the Ebor at York three weeks ago. Prior to that, he beat the Ebor second Genzy at Ascot and the drop back in trip should help. He is one to watch today rather than back, however, with a slight question mark to answer after last time.
Over in Ireland, Alive Alive Oh (3:35) can finally win her Group race in the Blanford Stakes at the Curragh, having missed numerous engagements throughout the summer, due to quick ground.
Hugely impressive when winning the Listed Salsabil Stakes when last sighted in May and, while that form has been let down in better grade since, the Duke Of Marmalade filly looked certain to go on to better things; she also arrives here fresher than most of her rivals.
There won’t be any column from me tomorrow, in fact I’m off on holiday now until Tuesday 24th, but be sure to pay close attention to all the action from both the Curragh and Longchamp on Sunday.
In Ireland, impressive debutant winner Dazzling takes the next step up the ladder in the Listed Flame Of Tara Stakes, while Richard Hannon sends over Toormore to take on a three-pronged attack from Aidan O’Brien in the Group 1 National Stakes.
Over in France it’s Arc Trials Day and Arc favourite Flintshire heads the market for the Prix Niel, while the exciting Treve puts her unbeaten record on the line in the Prix Vermeille against the smart Venus De Milo. Elsewhere, on what really is a stellar card, last year’s Arc second Orfevre bids to land back-to-back runnings of the Prix Foy, where he faces Camelot on a retrieval mission, while Richard Hannon saddles Jacques Le Marois second Olympic Glory in the Prix Du Moulin De Longchamp.
On Friday evening, he was trading at 11/10 (industry price), while both Flintshire and Treve were 6/4 shots to enhance their respective Arc claims.
And, finally, a couple of jumpers to note during next week are Aintree bumper winner Killyglass, who is entered in a novice hurdle at Stratford on Tuesday, and the useful Clonbanan Lad, who is engaged in the Kevin McManus Beginners’ Chase at Listowel. Henry De Bromhead’s seven-year-old won first time up in bumpers and over hurdles, so looks one to catch on his chasing bow.
I’ll be back a week on Tuesday and, in the meantime, be lucky.
3:35 Curragh Alive Alive Oh 15/8 Paddy Power
3:50 Doncaster Foundry 6/1 William Hill
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