Paul Ferguson has three selections on Saturday including River Maigue in the Sandown 2.25. Compare odds and bet.
Nicky Henderson sends a strong squad to Sandown on Saturday, despite the notable absence of stable star Spinter Sacre, with Captain Conan and Grandouet set to represent the yard in the Grade 1 contests.
The Tingle Creek looks below par, but the same can’t be said of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, in which Grandouet bids to get his career over fences on track. The pick of these over hurdles, he could easily come on for his initial experience and should appreciate the better pace and better ground today, but it is hard to be too confident given he unseated here four weeks ago.
In the same race Claret Cloak looks over-priced at 12/1 back on good ground, but this is a very hot race and one that is best watched.
Earlier on the card, Henderson saddles three in the 2m6f Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle and preference is for Barry Geraghty’s mount Whisper (1:20) who shaped really well on his reappearance at Cheltenham last month.
The five-year-old is up 3lbs for that third and, given that several of the yard’s runners appeared to need their first run of the season, he can be expected to improve again today.
Still relatively unexposed, the smooth travelling son of Astarabad looks sure to go well and should be backed each-way with several firms offering 4/1 overnight (Ladbrokes were 9/2 early on Friday evening) – hopefully all 16 will go to post.
Stable companion River Maigue (2:25) is a similar price (4/1 with Stan James and Paddy Power overnight) and should also be backed each-way for the valuable Listed 2m handicap, a race Henderson has won in recent years with Tasheba (2009) and Petit Robin (2012).
The son of Zagreb won just once from four starts last term, but appeals as the type to progress again and the fact he starts off over hurdles suggests there is more to come off a mark of 140, as Henderson had hinted that he would form part of his strong novice chase team this term.
Up at Aintree, another chance is given to Clondaw Kaempfer (1:00) who bombed out on his reappearance at Haydock a fortnight ago.
A course-and-distance winner on debut last season, the five-year-old looked a bit ring rusty at Haydock and might just have needed the run. The son of Oscar remains a smart prospect and one that can surely land a nice prize for a mark of 135, so is given another chance in what looks a weaker contest than the one he contested a couple of weeks ago. Jason Maguire’s mount was trading at 7/2 overnight (Boylesports).
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