Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday including; Regal Encore in the Aintree 5.20. Compare odds and bet.
AP McCoy edges ever closer to that remarkable 4,000 winner mark and he can bookend the Aintree card with winners, starting with David O’Meara’s Ifandbutwhynot (1:55) in the opener.
The seven-year-old was most progressive last term and did this column a couple of nice turns, when winning at Cheltenham in November and Musselburgh after a break in February.
He found the ground too soft (slight concern today) in the County Hurdle and when flopping at Sandown in December, and was over the top when falling in the Scottish Champion Hurdle last time.
Provided the ground isn’t too testing (we have had a lot of rain here in Liverpool, but the fresh ground mightn’t be too bad early on in the afternoon) he looks sure to go well and was one for the each-way thieves, opening up at 9/2 with Bet365 (who are paying ¼ odds).
The other seven-year-old in the race Karinga Dancer is greatly respected, but he wants a decent surface ideally and probably a bit further around here. Harry Fry’s charge was due to take his chance in the Persian War at Chepstow before heading over fences, so this is an interesting change of heart as he is only a novice until the end of this month.
Special Catch also deserves a mention, as he will handle the ground if it continues to deteriorate and Keith Reveley’s six-year-old looked smart on a couple of occasions last term. However, the other pair look to have a class advantage on the field here and could have the race between them.
McCoy gets the leg up on Regal Encore (5:20) in the last, a really interesting 2m maiden hurdle. Runner-up in the Champion Bumper, being a son of King’s Theatre he is another who probably won’t want the ground too bad, but he is too good to be risked and, should connections have any concerns, I’m sure he would be pulled out.
If the ground is deemed suitable, the five-year-old will be extremely hard to beat judged on his bumper form and he can continue the fine form of Dorset based trainer, Anthony Honeyball.
In the same contest there have been some positive reports about Paul Nicholls’ newcomer Silsol who should be monitored in the market and is one to note for the future.
Down at Chepstow, the exciting Just A Par (2:25) makes his chase debut in the 3m novices’ chase and it will be disappointing if he doesn’t continue Paul Nicholls’ fine run in this sphere (Dark Lover, Dodging Bullets, Sonofvic, Black Thunder and Wonderful Charm all novice chase winners in the past week).
An expensive purchase from Ireland, the son of Island House won his maiden hurdle on heavy ground, so conditions ought not to be a problem, and he made rapid progress last term, culminating in his second to At Fishers Cross at Aintree.
Lightly-raced and unexposed over this trip, connections will be hoping he takes high rank in the staying novice chase division this season and he can make a winning debut.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2013-14
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Fellow Betrescue columnist and Bet Victor’s Charlie McCann says: “it really is a privilege to write the foreword for such an informative and well-researched publication, which continues to go from strength to strength.”
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