Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday; Vaniteux in the Doncaster 13:00, Imagine The Chat 13:15 and Champagne West 14:25 both at Cheltenham. Compare odds and bet.
Runner-up in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup here last month Champagne West (2:25) can defy a 4lbs rise in the weights to take this afternoon’s Freebets.com Trophy Chase.
His latest piece of form has worked out well, with the first and third going on to finish first and second in a similar contest here on New Year’s Day. Philip Hobbs’ lightly-raced eight-year-old is at home in testing conditions and he must go very close if is to revert to Grade 1 company at the festival (entered in the Ryanair and Gold Cup). The son of Westerner was trading at 9-4 on Friday evening.
Earlier on the card Imagine The Chat (1:15) is the one to be with in a competitive looking Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase.
The classy Un Temps Pour Tout, who should appreciate the drop in trip and class (and warrants consideration despite his huge weight), ensures that the selection gets in nicely at the foot of the weights and Rebecca Curtis’ seven-year-old really impressed with the way in which he scored at Newbury over Christmas.
Again, soft ground isn’t too much of a worry for this son of Kayf Tara, who has gone up 12lbs for his recent success, and he might well be capable of taking this step up in class in his stride. He opened up 5-1 with Ladbrokes and Hill on Friday.
Up at Doncaster Vaniteux (1:00) is fancied to take advantage of the 4lbs he receives from Shaneshill in the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase.
Nicky Henderson’s high-class hurdler made a sparkling start to his career over fences, before going down by ¼ of a length at Kempton over Christmas, when a shuddering error at the first was far from ideal.
There is sure to be plenty of pace on here, so Nico De Boinville might well opt to take a lead this afternoon and this track should suit. He was available at 5-4 with Bet365 early on Friday evening.
1:00 Doncaster Vaniteux 5/4 Bet365
1:15 Cheltenham Imagine The Chat 7/2 Skybet
2:25 Cheltenham Champagne West 9/4 WilliamHill
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