Paul Ferguson has three selections from Cheltenham for us on Saturday; African Gold (1.15), Edmund Kean (3.00) and Mayfair Music (4.05). Compare odds and bet.
Owner Dai Walters didn’t enjoy the best of days on Friday at Cheltenham, with his Oscar Whisky beaten on chase debut and the well-supported Top Gamble failing to go close in the 2m5f intermediate handicap hurdle.
The boss of Ffos Las racecourse does, however, look to hold strong claims on Saturday, as he has (along with a couple of other owners) purchased the exciting African Gold (1:15) who is taken to make a winning debut over fences in the extended 3m novices’ chase.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ five-year-old was extremely progressive during a highly productive novice hurdle campaign last season, winding up finishing runner-up to At Fishers Cross in the Albert Bartlett and fifth to Solwhit in the Liverpool Hurdle.
The son of King’s Theatre has the look of a chaser and shouldn’t have an issue with today’s ground, despite showing his best form on soft last term; he won his bumper on good and also scored at Wetherby on good-to-soft.
Today’s contest looks a cracking heat, with Le Bec and Shutthefrontdoor already having proven their ability over fences, but African Gold is already favourite with several firms for the RSA Chase and can give Twiston-Davies a fourth win in this race since 2003. The opening selection on Paddy Power Gold Cup day opened up 7/4 with several firms including Bet365 and Hills last night.
Walters and the Potters’ (also part owners of African Gold) are also responsible for the David Pipe-trained Edmund Kean (3:00) who looks reasonably treated on a mark of 132, with the step up in trip sure to bring about plenty of improvement.
The six-year-old only made his rules debut in February (4th to the aforementioned Top Gamble) before winning twice quickly, to qualify for the EBF Final at Sandown, in which he finished a gallant third.
Runner-up Many Clouds has come out and won over fences and fourth Whisper shaped with promise yesterday, so that EBF Final should work out and the selection looks open to plenty of improvement over 3m and beyond. Expected to make up in to a smart chaser in time, the son of Old Vic, who needs to prove himself on better ground, looks capable of landing a nice prize over hurdles before being switched to the larger obstacles. Conor O’Farrell was two from two aboard the selection last term and he opened up 6/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power and Boylesports last night – he should be backed each-way, with all firms paying ¼ odds to 4 places.
The concluding mares’ bumper, a new Listed event to the Open meeting, looks a cracker and Edmund Kean’s new stable-mate Legacy Gold sets the standard, following her success in similar company at Aintree in April.
Snapped up for £210,000 since, she has to concede 4lbs to all 16 rivals this afternoon and is, therefore, taken on with Mayfair Music (4:05) who looked an exciting prospect when winning her sole start at Fakenham last term.
Nicky Henderson’s well-bred daughter of Presenting was being aimed at the Punchestown Festival before the ground turned against her and she has reportedly strengthened up considerably over the summer.
Even though this looks a wide-open affair, she is another who looks worth an each-way bet, having opened up 6/1 with Paddy Power.
1:15 Cheltenham: African Gold
3:00 Cheltenham: Edmund Kean
4:05 Cheltenham: Mayfair Music
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2013-14
Pre order now, published early September in good time for the new season:
Just £9:95 inc p&p
* order online www.cc-publishing.co.uk
* or, send a cheque payable to ‘The Racing Insider’ to PO Box 98, Liverpool L9 1WY (with address details)
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