Paul Ferguson two selections from Royal Ascot on Saturday; Havana Cooler in the 3.05 and Pique Sous at 5.35. Compare odds and bet.
Arab Spring will be very popular in this afternoon’s Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore and, having won nicely for this column last time, it isn’t easy to jump ship, but he has gone up another 8lbs and faces a stiff ask under top-weight.
It wouldn’t be surprising if he proved good enough to defy his latest rise and complete the four-timer but, at the prices, preference is for Havana Cooler (3:05) who looks a viable each-way alternative at 18-1
Luca Cumani’s lightly-raced Hurricane Run colt has some sound form with the smart Pether’s Moon to his name (that improver runs in today’s Hardwicke Stakes) and hasn’t been seen since finishing third in the Melrose on what looked unsuitably soft ground at York last August.
The chestnut appeals as the type to have improved from three to four and, though this is a big ask on his seasonal reappearance, it is pretty safe to assume that Cumani will have had this race in mind for some time. He can go well at a nice price.
In the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes, a case can also be made for market leader Tiger Cliff who could well be a cut above these, if returning to the form that saw him win the Ebor last year and finish third in the Yorkshire Cup on his return.
However, he has since disappointed in the Henry II at Sandown and, as that was just 23 days ago, the vote goes to Irish raider Pique Sous (5:35) who, again, can be backed each-way (opened up 8-1 with Hills).
Willie Mullins’ grey was third in the 2012 Champion Bumper and sixth in the following year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, and is two from five on the level. His most recent success came in some style at Leopardstown in September and he made a pleasing return at the Curragh last month, on ground softer than ideal.
He has a bit to find with some of these on official ratings, but he will relish the ground, should appreciate the step up in trip and has the assistance of Ryan Moore in the saddle. He teamed up with Mullins to take this race in 2012 with Simenon.
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