Paul Ferguson two selections for us from Market Rasen; Gwafa at 2.15 and Theinval at 2.45. Compare odds and bet.
It is the big day in the summer jumps calendar at Market Rasen this afternoon, where Gwafa (2:15) is fancied to defy top-weight in the Betfred TV Summer Handicap Hurdle.
A smart Flat handicapper as a three-year-old for Marco Botti, the grey progressed nicely after finishing sixth to Altior on Boxing Day and won for the third time over timber in Haydock’s Swinton Hurdle in May.
Up a further 7lbs, he was expected to revert to the Flat at some stage (held entries but never declared) this summer, but he instead runs here and conditions look ideal. This might not be as strong a race as the Swinton and he won right-handed when scoring at Huntingdon in February. He could be a class above today’s rivals and Paul Webber won this race with Australia Day back in 2010.
I put Long House Hall up at Uttoxeter in May and he is again respected on the back of that fourth, in this afternoon’s Summer Plate. Dan Skelton’s lightly raced chaser is certainly capable of winning off his current mark and, assuming he is ridden a shade more prominently, he is likely to be in the mix.
However, at the prices, I slightly favour Theinval (2:45) who won a beginners’ chase on that same Uttoxeter card.
Nicky Henderson’s six-year-old had two starts over fences in France and, despite struggling on his first start over fences in Britain at Bangor last October (form doesn’t look bad in hindsight), he ran well behind Virgilio at Warwick in May, before getting off the mark last time.
He runs off a mark of 144 here, the same rating from which he won a competitive handicap hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in 2015, and has form right handed, winning a Kempton handicap en route to Aintree that spring. The six-year-old races under optimum conditions here and he looks worthy of each-way support.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2015-16
Pre order now, published early September in good time for the new season: Just £9:95 inc p&p
* order online www.cc-publishing.co.uk
* or, send a cheque payable to ‘The Racing Insider’ to PO Box 98, Liverpool L9 1WY (with address details)
Fellow Betrescue columnist and Bet Victor’s Charlie McCann says: “It really is a privilege to write the foreword for such an informative and well-researched publication, which continues to go from strength to strength.”
- Don Poli