Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Thursday; Purple Bay in the Taunton 4.50 and Festival Theatre in the Kempton 7.40. Compare odds and bet.
With two winners from his last 11 runners and a couple of placed horses at Aintree on Grand National day, John Ferguson clearly has his string in fine order and he is fancied to land the 2m1f handicap hurdle at Taunton on Thursday, with top-weight Purple Bay (4:50).
A smart bumper performer last season, the five-year-old is two from four over hurdles and is just 3lbs higher than when runner-up in what looked a stronger handicap at Doncaster, when last sighted in mid-December.
The son of Dubawi prefers decent ground, which is probably why we haven’t seen him for 117 days and he returns today wearing the first time hood. I expect he will be popular this morning and will go off a little shorter.
At Kempton, Sir Michael Stoute’s Festival Theatre (7:40) is taken to land the Follow @BetVictorRacing On Twitter Handicap under Ryan Moore.
Another top-weight, the Danehill Dancer colt won a maiden here last August and holds entries in the Dante at York and the Derby in June, so is clearly well thought of by his powerful connections.
They will no doubt be disappointed if he can’t take this off an opening mark of 85 and he was trading at 5/4 with Coral overnight.
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