• Sat 28 Jan, 2023
  • 10:00 GMT
  • 06:00 ET (GMT-4)
  • 12:00 CET (GMT+2)

Fergie’s double tip top

Paul Ferguson two selections for us on Saturday; Dubawi Fifty in the Newmarket 3:40 and Coeur De Lion in the York 5:00.

We’ve high-class action to look forward to under both codes on Saturday, with the pick of the Flat racing coming from Newmarket, where Expert Eye bids to maintain his unbeaten record in the Dewhurst Stakes.

The Cesarewitch is one of my favourite races of the season and I’ve narrowed it down to John Constable and Dubawi Fifty (3:40).  I wouldn’t put anyone off backing either each-way (or splitting stakes), with the former sure to move smoothly into contention off what looks a potentially lenient mark.

The latter was a winner for this column at Nottingham in mid-August and I immediately had him in mind for this contest, with the step up to 2m2f likely to bring about further improvement.  He needs to take another big step forward in terms of quality of opposition, but he is unbeaten on turf (both on good-to-soft) and remains unexposed as a stayer.  Graham Lee gets on well with this four-year-old – ridden him to all three career wins – and Karen McLintock saddled a winner from just five runners this month.  At 14-1 (hopefully might be a touch bigger in the morning) he looks worth a small each-way interest – be sure to check place terms as some firms are offering 8 places.

One that missed the cut for the ‘Ces’ is the Alan King-trained Coeur De Lion (5:00) but he should be backed at York, in what looks a much more winnable event.

Runner-up to stable-mate Who Dares Wins in a trial for the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last time, he had won a fairly weak event at Nottingham four months earlier and remains potentially well handicapped on 83.  A smart juvenile hurdler last term, he chased home Defi du Seuil on one occasion and beat subsequent Aintree scorer Rather Be in a novice event at Sandown.  Conditions look ideal and, with the stable in such good form, a bold bid looks on the cards.

I’ll be down at Chepstow to see the chasing debut of the exciting Finian’s Oscar and also for the Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow Handicap Hurdle, another race in which Alan King holds sound claims.  His Dino Velvet was hampered in the Fred Winter back in March and looks on a fair mark.

The Silver Trophy looks the best race on the card and, for jumps fans, probably the race of the day in terms of depth.  I could make a genuine case for several of these, but the pair I’ve narrowed it down to most are Wholestone and Sam Spinner.  The former is the class angle and a mark of 145 could easily underestimate him, whilst Sam Spinner takes a big step up in class after a lengthy break, but he is a horse I have long held in high regard and conditions look in his favour.

Hexham also stages a decent National Hunt card, with hurdling debutants Niceandeasy and Dame Rose very much worth monitoring, though I suspect both will be pretty short.

Saturday’s selections:
3:40 Newmarket: Dubawi Fifty; 18/1 Ladbrokes
5:00 York: Coeur De Lion; 9/4 bet365

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