Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Full Shift in the Newbury 12:45 and Pylonthepressure in the Fairyhouse 1.10. Compare odds and bet.
It’s Hennessy day at Newbury and the big race revolves around top-weight Saphir Du Rheu who must give upwards of 7lbs to his 16 rivals.
If he is to develop into a genuine Gold Cup contender he must go close here, but his price seems no better than fair and, as I was convinced that Coneygree was the most likely winner of this for weeks, I’m happy to sit and watch today’s feature.
Earlier on the card Full Shift (12:45) is taken to land the novices’ handicap chase for Nicky Henderson, JP McManus and Barry Geraghty.
The six-year-old was a smart novice hurdler two seasons ago and last season is easily written off, as he only reappeared at the Cheltenham Festival, before finishing midfield at Punchestown.
A former winning pointer, he has the size and scope to improve considerably as a chaser and, given the stable’s record at this fixture, you would assume he would be wound up for this return to action.
Over in Ireland, Willie Mullins introduces a trio of exciting novices, starting with Alvisio Ville in the opening beginners’ chase and ending with Nambour in division two of the 2m2f maiden hurdle.
Both are likely to be priced up accordingly, while Pylonthepressure (1:10) ought to be backable in the first division, given that he faces impressive recent Down Royal bumper winner Tombstone.
The latter looked smart when scoring under Nina Carberry at the Northern Irish track, but the selection looked a seriously exciting prospect when winning his first two starts in bumpers, before finishing fifth in the Grade 1 at Punchestown.
Testing ground isn’t an inconvenience to this son of Darsi, who might well be better than we saw last time, having been forced to miss the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham at the twelfth hour. He can make up into a smart novice hurdler.
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