John Ferguson has his summer team in flying form and he looks the trainer to follow at Stratford and Perth this afternoon.
John Ferguson can do little wrong at present and his golden run could well continue this afternoon.
The Suffolk-based trainer runs JALINGO in the 2m handicap hurdle at Stratford (due off 3.25pm) and the four-year-old is a strong fancy to follow-up up his recent impressive maiden hurdle success at Perth.
That was just reward for a string of placed efforts, including a nose defeat at Uttoxeter and also finishing second to smart juvenile Zarib last season, and the son of Cape Cross now makes his handicap debut off what looks a fair opening mark of 128. The drop back to the minimum trip shouldn’t inconvenience him either as he showed plenty of speed on the flat, including when winning over 1m1f last summer.
The main barrier to success may come from El Massivo, who stayed on well in the closing stages to win over course and distance last month, while David Pipe’s Purple ‘N Gold also needs respecting as he rarely runs a bad race, though he gets no respite from the handicapper as a result.
The selection appears to be still improving, though, and the booking of Sam Twiston-Davies looks significant with the rider boasting a 28% strike rate for the stable over the last five seasons. Ferguson’s himself has had nine winners and six runners-up from just 19 runners in the last fortnight, and his summer team are clearly thriving.
Aidan Coleman has an even more impressive strike rate for Ferguson, winning on 17 of his rides (43%) in the same period, and they partner up with FATHER EDWARD in the opening 2m4f novices’ hurdle at Perth (2.00pm), where the trainer is 4-6 (67%). The six-year-old got off the mark over hurdles at Worcester last month, routing his nine rivals by 13 lengths, and while penalised for that success here he is clearly going the right way. The presence of Sharp Rise, a dual winner this season, should ensure he goes off at a backable price.
It could be worth sticking with the partnership in the 2m maiden hurdle run later on the card (3.40pm) with recent Hexham runner-up GALIZZI looking to hold strong claims. A dual winner on the flat, the four-year-old was having just his second start over hurdles at the Northumbrian track and was unfortunate to bump into an above average sort in Owen Na View, who had scored over fences at Perth previously.
A reproduction of that effort may well be good enough as his main market rival Iffjack needs to step up on what he’s shown so far, thiugh the fact he’s trained by Gordon Elliott, a regular winner here, entitles him to plenty of respect.
Perth 2.00, Father Edward @ best morning-line odds
stratford 3.25, Jalingo @ best morning-line odds
Perth 3.40, Galizzi @ best morning-line odds
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All odds were correct at time of posting.