Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday including Whistle Dixie in the Fairyhouse 16:15. Compare odds and bet.
Despite just five going to post, this afternoon’s Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase looks a fairly strong renewal of Sandown’s Grade 1 and Champagne West (2:25) is fancied to return to winning ways.
Philip Hobbs’ seven-year-old has done little wrong in three starts over fences to date, winning his first two before giving Ptit Zig a fright on New Year’s Day. He has run exclusively at Cheltenham so far as a chaser and, though he gives away course experience to market leader Irish Saint, he is favoured at the odds.
Trading at 11-4 on Friday evening, it is a slight concern racing this way around given he jumped left when winning at Wincanton on Boxing Day in 2013, but he did follow up at Ascot, so it is hoped he jumps straight today.
Though she is the lowest rated of the quintet, Willie Mullins’ mare Gitane Du Berlais is feared most; if she gets into a rhythm in front, she could easily have a few of these on the stretch and I’m surprised she is not a little shorter than 5/1.
Talking of Irish trained mares, there are several interesting ones on show over at Fairyhouse, notably in the Grade 3 Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle.
Morning Run returns to action and, though she rates an extremely exciting prospect that I think could go a very long way, she faces old foe and the much-improved Carrigmoorna Rock having beaten her in a bumper and last time she ran.
Robert Tyner’s seven-year-old has won twice since, however, and might just edge things from a fitness perspective, so at 3-1 might represent a bit of value. If Morning Run can win this after 92 days off, she really could be the real deal.
Later on the card, another classy mare Whistle Dixie (4:15) ought to maintain her unbeaten record in the concluding bumper.
Closely related to Kicking King, she won her point-to-point in March and made a winning debut under rules in a bumper at Limerick over Christmas. The daughter of Kayf Tara looks to have a very bright future and can score under David Mullins.
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