Paul Ferguson has two selections from Royal Ascot for us on Thursday, The Great War (2.30) and Windshear (5.35). Compare odds and bet.
It’s Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot on Thursday, where the most interesting betting heat looks to be the concluding King George V Stakes, with this year’s renewal of the three-year-old middle-distance handicap looking particularly strong.
The likes of Wrangler and Arab Dawn have done well for this column in recent weeks, but the former needs to prove himself on quicker ground, while the latter has to improve again to confirm Newbury form with Personal Opinion.
The latter is very much one for any shortlist, having looked unlucky in running that day and he now has a 9lb swing at the weights with Arab Dawn, for a ½ length defeat. The dual Wolverhampton winner should appreciate the trip and looks capable of going well at double-figure odds for Godolphin, who have a shorter priced runner in the shape of market leader Elite Army.
The Authorized colt is lightly raced, remains open to plenty of improvement and should also relish the 1m4f trip on breeding. But, he needs to settle better this afternoon and the vote instead goes to Windshear (5:35) who beat Elite Army at Sandown the time before and can confirm the form.
Since that soft ground success, Richard Hannon’s Hurricane Run colt bumped into Cannock Chase in a warm renewal of Newbury’s London Gold Cup, leaving the impression that day that he would improve further once upped to this sort of distance. A half-brother to a 2m winner, his two pieces of winning form to date have come on soft ground, but he handled a quicker surface adequately last time and he looks sure to run a big race.
The one slight negative is the wide draw, but Richard Hughes will no doubt be in no rush to get involved and it isn’t enough to put me off. Available at 10-1 with Bet Victor on Wednesday evening, he should be backed each-way in a cracking contest to round off proceedings.
Earlier on the card, Aidan O’Brien’s The Great War (2:30) is fancied to land the opening Group 2 Norfolk Stakes.
The War Front colt has looked pretty smart indeed in winning at Tipperary and the Curragh, marking himself down as a potential Group class juvenile. I rarely get involved in two-year-old events so early in a season, but the selection has created a deep impression on me and it will take a good one to lower his colours.
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