Paul Ferguson has one selection for us on Saturday; Regal Encore in the Sandown 15:15. Compare odds and bet.
Beaten twice at skinny odds in three starts over hurdles so far this season, last year’s Champion Bumper second Regal Encore (3:15) looks really well handicapped and can land Saturday’s Imperial Cup.
Anthony Honeyball’s six-year-old actually bumped into a couple of smart sorts in Garde La Victoire at Aintree and Seeyouatmidnight (won twice since) at Hexham, with his sole hurdles success coming in minor company at Plumpton in November.
The King’s Theatre gelding will need to be winning here if he is to have a chance of making one of the Festival handicap hurdles (Martin Pipe would seem most likely) and, if that is the case, he will bidding to land the £100,000 bonus, which is on offer to the winner of this event.
Fellow novice Vibrato Valtat is on the up and warrants respect, as do the Pipe duo and the lightly-raced Fourth Estate, but on a mark of 130, it will be disappointing if Regal Encore can’t land a big prize such as this. He was available at 3/1 with Bet365 and Paddy Power on Friday.
3:15 Sandown: Regal Encore; 3/1 Paddy Power
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