Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Sunday; Racing Pulse 1:30 and Clever Cookie 3:30 both at Musselburgh. Compare odds and bet.
Musselburgh stages a valuable card on Sunday and they have been rewarded numerically by the competitiveness of the races, probably due to the fact that the ground is as good as it gets for the time of year.
The feature John Smith’s Scottish County Hurdle is no exception, with Nicholls (Sametegal) and Henderson (Lyvius) represented, but they have to give lumps of weight away to Clever Cookie (3:30) and, having impressed when scoring for us over course-and-distance last month, he looks worth backing each-way, despite the sharp rise in class.
Peter Niven’s dual bumper winner travels strongly through his races and, as expected, relished being switched to handicap company last time. Up 7lbs for that success, he races off 9lb higher today, as he is a couple of pounds wrong at the weights and, while I don’t often suggest backing horses from out of the handicap, this is an exception.
As long as the rain stays away and the ground is no worse than good-to-soft, I expect a bold showing under Wilson Renwick and the selection was available at 7/1 with Bet365 early this morning.
Earlier on the card, John Quinn’s Racing Pulse (1:30) can return to winning ways in the Albert Bartlett Scottish Trial and, in doing so, book his ticket to the contest of the same name at Cheltenham next month.
An impressive winner at Newcastle on his British debut (form that has worked out really well, with runner-up Sir Mangan winning by 19l next time (second at Wetherby yesterday) and the third home Straidnahanna (beaten 27l) getting within a neck of the smart Wuff next time) the five-year-old was inconvenienced by both the ground and lack of pace at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
An impressive bumper winner before joining current connections, the step up to 3m should suit the good-ground Irish point-to-point winner and he should be difficult to beat. He was trading at 8/15 with Paddy Power and Stan James on Saturday evening.
Over in Ireland, be sure to pay attention to both the Listed novice hurdle and the Petermps Qualifier at Punchestown, with Marlbrook of interest in the last-named contest; he reverts to hurdling on a decent looking mark (130).
1:30 Musselburgh Racing Pulse
3:30 Musselburgh Clever Cookie
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