Paul Ferguson has two selections from Cheltenham for us on Friday; Champagne West at 2.25 and Cup Final at 4.05. Compare odds and bet.
Nicky Henderson last took Cheltenham’s 2m5f intermediate hurdle with Punchestowns in 2008 and, while Cup Final (4:05) cannot be compared with that former high-class performer at this stage, he is fancied to shed his maiden tag in this afternoon’s concluding event.
By Presenting out of the classy Asian Maze, the five-year-old is bred to be very good and showed plenty of promise in a couple of starts behind Irving last season. He was last seen trailing home tenth in the Neptune and begins life in handicap company off an attractive looking mark (125).
The selection opened up 11-4 on Thursday and, unsurprisingly, that didn’t last too long. Hopefully he will ease out again slightly this morning, having been heavily backed last night.
Earlier on the card, the Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase looks the strongest race run in this division so far this season. Urban Hymn did little wrong on debut and should relish the step up in trip – he is greatly respected, but the vote goes to Champagne West (2:25) who progressed steadily over hurdles last season and looks the type to do even better as a chaser.
Philip Hobbs’ six-year-old finished fourth in the Albert Bartlett in March, having earlier rattled up a hat-trick, with the form of his Warwick maiden hurdle now reading extremely well. He was available at 4-1 overnight.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2014-15
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