Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Puffin Billy in the Ascot 13:15 and Bitofapuzzle 13:30 at Haydock. Compare odds and bet.
Soft ground and Ascot brings out the best in Puffin Billy (1:15) and Oliver Sherwood’s six-year-old is fancied to make it four from four at the track in this afternoon’s graduation chase.
The son of Heron Island has suffered an interrupted career to date, but returned with a bang when scoring here in November, making all and jumping impressively under Leighton Aspell.
Despite the fact that market leader Irish Saint has also won at this track (a valuable handicap hurdle in January) and the step up in trip should suit Paul Nicholls’ charge, Puffin Billy is fancied to lower his colours, with conditions just about ideal (slightly longer trip shouldn’t be an inconvenience to the selection). He opened up at 5/2 on Friday evening.
Up at Haydock Bitofapuzzle (1:30) can maintain her 100% record in Listed mares’ only novices’ hurdle.
A huge six-year-old, she impressively completed a hat-trick of bumper successes under a penalty at Cheltenham last month, before landing a Wincanton maiden hurdle over 2m6f.
She wasn’t particularly impressive on debut, but she slight drop in trip and the much deeper ground could bring about significant improvement and, judged on her bumper form, Harry Fry’s mare looks the one to be with here.
She has Pirate’s Queen to beat, but Alan King’s runner would prefer better ground and the selection was trading at 13-8 on Friday evening.
1:15 Ascot Puffin Billy 2/1 Ladbrokes
1:30 Haydock Bitofapuzzle 11/8 BetVictor
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