Paul Ferguson has two selections from Haydock for us on Saturday; Aubusson in the 2.25 and Masters Hill at 3.35. Compare odds and bet.
The Betfair Chase and the inaugural running of the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle, in which The New One will be very short indeed, are the high-class contests on offer at Haydock on Saturday, but there are five really interesting handicaps as supporting races.
The pick of those handicaps is the valuable fixed brush hurdle, which is competitive as ever, but the one I want to be with is Aubusson (2:25) who represents Nick Williams, who took this with Diamond Harry five years ago.
The five-year-old was a useful novice last season on soft ground and made a pleasing return when just in front of Vieux Lion Rouge (who will relish conditions) when second in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow. A better jump at the last probably would have secured victory that day, but he travelled like the best horse in the race and should land a nice prize before fences are considered.
Stamina has to be taken on trust, but it could just be that 3m brings about further improvement in the Ballingarry gelding and, with that in mind, I’m prepared to chance him lasting home at 11-1 (each-way).
Regular readers of my column will remember I am a fan of Meadowdroft Boy so I’m pleased to see him back in action, though he was pretty keen the last time we saw him and he is up in trip this afternoon. The hood is applied, presumably for that reason and, if he settles, he is of huge interest in the 2m4f handicap hurdle, especially given his record when fresh.
However, the day’s second selection goes the way of Masters Hill (3:35) in the concluding handicap chase, for the in-form Colin Tizzard, who will be hoping stable-star Cue Card lands the feature for a second successive season.
The eight-year-old has been lightly raced in recent seasons, but looked a chaser going places when winning at Chepstow just over two years ago and he returned from almost a year off to win a novice hurdle on his reappearance last October (again showing he goes well fresh).
He went on to chase home Kings Palace and Deputy Dan in a couple of Grade 2 novice hurdles, before finishing a well-beaten fifth in the Albert Bartlett, where he was surrounded by subsequent novice chase winners. The aforementioned pair have both scored this season, as have Very Wood, Champagne West and Sausalito Sunrise, who was 9 lengths behind the selection.
The grey returns to fences on an attractive looking mark and should handle the testing conditions. Given his record first time out and the fact that the stable are now in great form, he is taken to land this 3m1f handicap.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2014-15
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