• Sat 28 Jan, 2023
  • 01:22 GMT
  • 21:22 ET (GMT-4)
  • 03:22 CET (GMT+2)

Fergie’s Saturday racing tips

Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday; Sergei Prokofiev 14:20 Newmarket and Canardier in the 17:35 at Punchestown. Compare odds and bet.

It’s 2000 Guineas day at Newmarket on Saturday, where Sergei Prokofiev (2:20) is fancied to land the Palace House Stakes, for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

Only a three-year-old, the Scat Daddy colt won a Group 3 over course-and-distance last October and made a pleasing winning return over an extended 5f at Navan. He travelled really well that day and given the pace he showed to lead, the drop back to the bare minimum looks in his favour.

Over at Punchestown, the five-day festival comes to an end and despite the Grade 1 action, the race that stands out in terms of depth is the Ballymore Handicap Hurdle. This really is a competitive affair, but conditions will be in favour of Canardier (5:35) who ought to relish the drying ground, on the back of fine efforts at both Cheltenham and Aintree.

The seven-year-old finished fifth in the Coral Cup and then a close-up third in a similar event at the Grand National fixture, and the ground would have been softer than ideal on both occasions. If he is able to reproduce those efforts, he ought to go close under more suitable conditions and given that he had been off the track since October prior to the festival, there has to be a good chance that he can show his form once again. Going back to that success in October, he easily beat Go Another One (winner of novice hurdles in Listed and Grade 3 company since) at Cheltenham and he remains a progressive young hurdler. It is also worth remembering that he won a bumper at this festival in 2017 and he tops the shortlist for what looks a cracking race.

Of the opposition, the returning of pair of Shanning (off since Down Royal in early-November) and Out Of The Loop (off for 434 days) top the list of potential dangers. Both horses look capable of landing nice prizes over hurdles, with the step back up in trip sure to suit the former. The latter was last sighted beating Pertemps Final winner Sire du Berlais and was highly progressive at the time. The market should prove a good guide with regards to fitness.

Saturday’s selections:
2:20 Newmarket – Sergei Prokofiev; 7/4 Betfred
5:35 Punchestown – Canardier; 9/1 Paddy Power

Compare all today’s horse racing odds and bet at the best prices
NB. All odds shown are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.

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