Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday including Wheat Sheaf in the Newbury 17.10. Compare odds and bet.
For the first time since he impressively won at Ascot back in November Sign Of A Victory (2:35) has the good ground he needs and he is fancied to land the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr, for Nicky Henderson and Andrew Tinkler.
The Kayf Tara gelding looked better than a handicapper when winning on the bridle on his reappearance and, having been well beaten in both the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and the Kingwell at Wincanton, he is on somewhat of a retrieval mission here.
Freshened up and back on his favoured ground, the six-year-old can return to form off an 8lbs higher mark from which he won at Ascot. We know he handles the track, too, as he really ought to have won here 12 months ago, when a loose horse interfered him with, allowing the smart Vibrato Valtat to capitalise.
Today’s strongly run race really ought to suit and, with the market leader potentially vulnerable over this shorter trip on quicker ground, he looks a cracking each-way bet at an overnight 6-1.
Another hurdler to back each-way is Echo Springs (1:50) in the opening maiden at Bangor-On-Dee.
Danielle McComick’s imposing five-year-old won a bumper at Aintree on good ground last May for John Quinn and he shaped with a degree of promise behind at subsequent handicap winner on his debut last month.
The step up in trip on today’s drier ground should suit and, though he faces a couple of equally promising types in Powerstown Dreams (won his point on good) and Imagine The Chat (who is progressing and should relish the 3m trip), he is worth supporting at the odds (5-1 first show on Friday evening), in what looks a three horse race on paper.
Later in the day Wheat Sheaf (5:10) is fancied to land the concluding mile maiden (division two) at Newbury.
Roger Charlton’s Iffraaj colt travelled supremely well and hit the front looking all over the winner of a soft ground maiden at Newmarket in October. Beaten a short-head in the end, he drifted off a straight line and inexperience eventually proved costly. The day’s final selection opened up 7-2 with Bet365 and deserves to head the market.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2014-15
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