Paul Ferguson has one selection for us on Saturday; Modus in the Newbury 15:35 with an each way cover on Flying Angel in the same race. Compare odds and bet.
It’s Betfair Hurdle day at Newbury and, while the supporting card looks weaker than usual, the feature race of the day looks as competitive as ever.
With Barry Geraghty opting to ride last weekend’s impressive Leopardstown winner Blazer, long time ante-post market leader Modus (3:35) has eased in the betting and Paul Nicholls’ novice represents a bit of value now, at 8-1 on Friday.
A high-class bumper performer last term (runner-up in the Champion Bumper and third at Punchestown), the six-year-old hasn’t always looked the most straightforward, but he appeals as the type who could well relish a strongly run race and being buried among runners.
It isn’t hard to envisage him arriving on the scene on the bridle late on, so I’m happy to back the course-and-distance winner each-way at the odds, despite him being deserted by Geraghty. Nick Scholfield takes over in the saddle and he rode a double at Doncaster on Thursday.
There are plenty of other possible contenders here and if you are looking for a more speculative punt then rank-outsider Flying Angel maybe worth a small interest at 50-1 (Stan James).
Another novice, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ five-year-old impressed me earlier in the season when winning on good ground at Worcester and finishing runner-up at Aintree. Those efforts came over 2m4f and, given how he travelled through those races, I didn’t expect the drop back to 2m to be an inconvenience when beaten 25 lengths by Agrapart, who re-opposes again here.
That run is best ignored as the winner was given an easy lead and he bounced back to form with a solid run in a Kempton handicap on Boxing Day. Again, that was over further, but Flying Angel appeared to appreciate the truly run race and, in the end, might not have quite got home.
Therefore, I’m prepared to give him one more chance in a strongly run race over 2m at a massive price, despite the fact that, ideally, he may prefer better ground. Down 2lbs from Kempton to a mark of 128, the stable won this with the lowly weighted novice Splash Of Ginge two years ago.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2015-16
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