Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday; Diamond King in the Ascot 3.15, Sign Of A Victory – Wincanton 3.35 and Wuff in the Haydock 4.30. Compare odds and bet.
It is hoped that the rain has stayed away from Wincanton overnight, so Sign Of A Victory (3:35) can put his best foot forward and land the Kingwell Hurdle, for Nicky Henderson and Andrew Tinkler.
Like market rival Irving, the six-year-old needs to bounce back from a disappointing effort in the Christmas Hurdle and he was also pulled out of last weekend’s Betfair Hurdle. But, the conditions of today’s race ought to suit the speedy son of Kayf Tara, as should the tight track, so it is only the ground that is of concern.
As long as it is no worse than good-to-soft, I would be prepared to back him to lower the colours of Irving in receipt of 4lbs. The selection was available at 2-1 on Friday evening.
At Ascot I like the chances of Diamond King (3:15) in the extended 2m3f handicap hurdle, for Donald McCain and Jason Maguire.
The seven-year-old was a fair novice last term and looked in need of the run, both beforehand and during the race, on his belated reappearance at Cheltenham last month. I’ve been waiting for the King’s Theatre gelding to step up in trip and, though this looks a trappy little event, he needs to be going close with that run under his belt, if he is to start delivering on the reputation he built during his bumper days.
He was available at 7-1 with Stan James last night, though with only seven horses declared the race doesn’t appeal from an each-way perspective.
Up at Haydock Wuff (4:30) returns to action after a year off (last seen disappointing on this card) in what looks a warm novices’ handicap chase.
The seven-year-old had earlier finished runner-up in a bumper here and also won a novice event over the fixed brush hurdles last January. A big, imposing son of Beneficial, he looks just the type to do well over fences and can make an immediate impact.
On the down side, being so big you would assume he might need the run. However, he returns to action whilst trainer Tom George is enjoying a fine run of form and he certainly looks potentially ahead of the handicapper on a mark of 128. He opened up 5-1 on Friday evening, with recent Leicester winner Algernon Pazham heading the betting.
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