Paul Ferguson has two selections from Haydock for us on Saturday; Clondaw Kaempfer in the 1.50 and Two Rockers at 2.25. Compare odds and bet.
Haydock stages an absolutely cracking card on Saturday, with the feature Betfair Chase without doubt the race of the season so far.
Bobs Worth clearly sets the standard and the stamina test will suit him, but the track may play more to the strengths of Silviniaco Conti and Dynaste, both of whom go well fresh and will like the ground, while the evergreen Tidal Bay should not be underestimated.
Earlier on the card there are a couple of high-class handicap hurdles, starting with the Best Odds With Betfair Sportsbook Handicap Hurdle, in which Clondaw Kaempfer (1:50) is fancied to make a winning return for Donald McCain and Jason Maguire, who rounded off yesterday’s card with success in the bumper.
A winner at this meeting last year, he scored over this trip at Aintree on his first start for connections and has not been seen since pulling up in the Challow Hurdle over Christmas. His defeat of The Liquidator in a Fairyhouse bumper reads even better now and the unexposed five-year-old looks well treated off a mark of 136.
Despite the likes of French recruit Blue Fashion, the unbeaten More Of That and recent Aintree fourth Special Catch appealing as likely dangers, Clondaw Kaempfer looks worth supporting each-way at 4/1.
Another who warrants each-way support is Two Rockers (2:25) in the valuable Betfair Cash Out “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle, with Alan King’s charge trading at 8/1 early on Friday evening.
The six-year-old was hugely impressive when completing the hat-trick over hurdles at this track in February, after which he was run off his feet on quicker ground over shorter behind The New One at Cheltenham.
Back on soft ground and up to 3m, he remains an exciting prospect and this race has been the plan for some time, after which he is set to embark on a novice chase campaign. An imposing son of Milan, he ought to relish these hurdles and looks sure to go well under Wayne Hutchinson, who was twice successful aboard him last term.
The dangers include Gevrey Chambertin and impressive recent chase winner Gullinbursti, though he would ideally prefer a better surface. Having said that, it is not hard to imagine him jumping these obstacles well and travelling up strongly in to the contest.
Down at Ascot, I’m really looking forward to seeing Annie Power in action, though I’m not prepared to take odds-on about her against Zarkandar, so a watching brief is called for.
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