Paul Ferguson has three seletions from Aintree on Saturday; Wilde Blue Yonder at 1.30; Next Sensation at 2.05 and Victor Hewgo in the 3.25. Compare odds and bet.
Grand National day gets underway with the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, where Wilde Blue Yonder (1:30) is fancied to get back to winning ways for Alan King and Robert Thornton.
The five-year-old won a maiden hurdle at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting, after which he fell at the final flight on his next two starts, but got back on track with a fine fifth in the Supreme Novices’ last month. The extra half-mile around this tighter track ought to suit ideally.
King will be hopeful of a big day, as his Balder Succes will no doubt be popular in the Maghull Novices’ Chase, but Next Sensation (2:05) looks the perfect type for the Mildmay course and can run his rivals into the ground.
Michael Scudamore’s seven-year-old has improved out of all recognition this season and, while he needs to step up again, he looks a graded performer in waiting. Hugely impressive when winning a warm novices’ handicap chase at Doncaster over Christmas, he went off far too quickly in the Grand Annual and did well to finish as close as he did in the end. As long as he is ridden with a little more restraint, he can take the step up in class in his stride.
Thankfully Keith Reveley opted to swerve yesterday’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase in favour of a tilt at today’s Listed handicap with Victor Hewgo (3:25) who looks on a fair mark (139) and meets his optimum conditions here.
The Old Vic gelding is two from four over fences at Doncaster and his form in defeat reads well, beaten by Festival winners Western Warhorse and Holywell on the other two occasions. He looks capable of landing a nice prize this spring.
1:30 Aintree: Wilde Blue Yonder
2:05 Aintree: Next Sensation
3:25 Aintree: Victor Hewgo
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2013-14
Pre order now, published early September in good time for the new season:
Just £9:95 inc p&p
* order online www.cc-publishing.co.uk
* or, send a cheque payable to ‘The Racing Insider’ to PO Box 98, Liverpool L9 1WY (with address details)
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