Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Sunday; Eduard in the 12.50 and Meadowcroft Boy 1.20 both at Carlisle and Royal Regatta 3.40 at Leicester. Compare odds and bet.
The pick of the action on Sunday comes from Fairyhouse, where the trio of Grade 1s includes the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, in which Jezki will bid to enhance his Champion Hurdle credentials.
Jessie Harrington’s five-year-old remains unbeaten on home soil and won the Royal Bond on this card 12 months ago. However, I’m not sure he wants today’s extra half-mile, so he is best watched at odds-on.
I’m hoping Very Wood can improve for meeting a truly run race in this year’s renewal of the Royal Bond, but he needs to. Should he go well, that will point to a bold showing from Value At Risk in the concluding bumper. Philip Fenton won this race a couple of years back and the four-year-old certainly sets the standard.
The domestic action isn’t bad either, with several interesting novices on show, starting with Eduard (12:50) in the 2m novices’ chase at Carlisle.
Unfortunate when sprawling after the penultimate fence over course-and-distance in October, the five-year-old had earlier jumped really well on debut and would surely have given this week’s winner Pendra a serious race.
This is no penalty kick for Nicky Richards’ charge, however, as he meets a couple of smart previous winners (one of which beat him over hurdles last term) but he is without doubt the one with the most potential here and, in receipt of 6lbs, he is taken to get off the mark. Paddy Power offered 11/8 about his chances early on Saturday evening and into 4/5 this morning.
Half an hour later Meadowcroft Boy (1:20) is fancied to make a winning debut over timber for Alistair and Ewan Whillans.
The stable’s horses are running well at present and this four-year-old looked smart when winning a couple of bumpers last season, latterly at Ayr when he beat Tradewinds, who shaped well at Ascot last week.
Down at Leicester, Take A Bow is an interesting recruit to hurdling for Nicky Henderson in the concluding novices’ hurdle, where Pure Science has claims too, but Royal Regatta (3:40) looked more than useful when winning on debut at Aintree and can follow up, despite carrying a 7lb penalty.
Philip Hobbs’ King’s Theatre gelding beat Spirit Of Shankly (winner last week in a warm race at Haydock) in late October, having travelled well throughout. The number of hurdles jumped was reduced due to low sun that day, but those that he did hurdle were taken particularly fluently and those omitted were probably to his disadvantage. He looks exciting.
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