Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two trainers to consider at this year's Festival

I'll post comments on the first day's card tomorrow but in the meantime there's this.

At 6.55% Ferdy Murphy's strike rate so far this season isn't anything to shout about but we know Murphy regularly targets the Festival; as the RP Cheltenham Festival Guide points out, he has returned a profit at this meeting on five occasions in the past six years and since 2003 33% of his runners over fences have finished in the top four. Six recent winners include You're Special (33/1) and Hot Weld (33/1) in 2006, Joe's Edge (50/1) and L'Antartique (20/1) in 2007 and Poker De Sivola (14/1) in 2010.

Among the entries - De Boitron in the Grand Annual, Divers in the Byrne Plate (McCoy booked), Going Wrong in the Pulteney (Davy Russell) and Kalahari King in the Ryanair.

John Ferguson has made quite an impression in this his first season handling hurdlers. A recent interview saw him put up Cape Dutch in one of the handicaps as his best chance of a winner. New Year's Eve is prominent in the betting for the bumper with the booking of Barry Geraghty catching the eye. However the RP's Cheltenham Festival Guide thinks Population a better prospect ('...Population will be the best of British going into the race'), but I've read somewhere that one is heading to Aintree - intriguingly at this stage Population holds an entry in a Huntingdon bumper on the Wednesday with Jack Quinlan already jocked up. Ambion Wood's win at Sandown yesterday paid a compliment to Cotton Mill (entries in the Neptune and Albert Bartlett) while Asaid (Geraghty again) has an entry in the Triumph.

There's not long to wait now... ;)

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