Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; OurKaempfer in the Aintree 13:55 and The Ould Lad 14:05 at Wincanton. Compare odds and bet.
The highlight for many jumps fans on Saturday will be the return to action of dual Cheltenham Festival winner Simonsig who is back after 970 days on the sidelines to contest the inaugural running of the 2m4f Betfred Hurdle at Aintree.
It is very much hoped that Nicky Henderson’s grey returns to somewhere near the level of form that saw him land eight of his nine races under rules, though we will know a lot more about his wellbeing around 2:35pm.
Elsewhere on the card, the opening novices’ hurdle looks a decent little event, with Definite Outcome setting a form standard when travelling well in the Persian War last time, while Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Flying Angel impressed when winning on debut at Worcester, when he came right away in the closing stages. The form of that success doesn’t amount to much, however, and much more is required here.
The horse that makes most appeal from a punting perspective on the card is Our Kaempfer (1:55) who represents the in-form Charlie Longsdon stable.
The six-year-old finished third in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle over course-and-distance in April and he shaped with considerable promise when fourth at Chepstow four weeks ago. Back up in trip and with that run under his belt, the imposing son of Oscar is fancied to be primed for this and he opened up at 3-1 on Friday evening.
Down at Wincanton, Paul Nicholls tends to dominate this card and, in particular, he has a fine recent record in the Rising Stars Novices’ Chase, in which he saddles Arpege D’Alene. He is, without doubt an exciting recruit to the novice chasing ranks, but he looks tight enough in what looks a fairly warm race. Warren Greatrex’s Warrantor looks potentially over-priced and would have been of each-way interest, had there been an eighth runner.
One Nicholls runner worthy of support is The Ould Lad (2:05) who makes his debut for the yard in the Badger Ales Trophy.
Formerly trained by Tom George, the seven-year-old looked on an upward curve during the first half of last season and, if he can rekindle that kind of form in his new stable, the son of Heron Island would appeal as being ahead of the handicapper. He was trading at 7-2 overnight.
1:55 Aintree Our Kaempfer 9/4 Skybet
2:05 Wincanton The Ould Lad 7/2 Bet365
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