News Weatherbys sponsor two races on Fighting Fifth card

Weatherbys sponsor two races on Fighting Fifth card


Weatherbys are proud to be sponsoring two races on Saturday's Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle card, starting with the opening contest, the Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow Introductory Juvenile Hurdle, in which six three-year-olds go to post.

There are two previous winners in the line-up, the first being the Dan Skelton-trained Too Friendly, who showed a fine turn of foot to win at Stratford back in early-October. A non-runner in Wetherby's Listed Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle, his form was let down to some degree in that very same race by Oceanline (had finished second at Stratford), but he looked a bright prospect on debut and Bridget Andrews takes the ride.
Oceanline’s trainer Alan King is represented by Huntingdon winner Twilight Twist, who was rated 13lbs inferior to Too Friendly on the Flat, but made the best possible start over hurdles, when having too much finishing speed for Saint Riquier. The runner-up gave the form a boost when finishing runner-up in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham and the pair set a fair standard.
Of the four debutants, Bamboo Bay and Johnny Boom would look the more interesting. The former is a Camelot colt, who won a Roscommon handicap for Joseph O’Brien and is making his first start for the Phil Kirby team, who introduced a nice juvenile at Wetherby on Wednesday. He looks to have plenty of size about him, so ought to take to jumping, and any market support could prove significant. The latter is a New Bay gelding, who was a winner on the Flat for Richard Fahey and is now in the care of Brian Ellison. He came from a long way off the pace when runner-up at this track on his final start for Fahey, when only just denied over 10 furlongs.
Six also take their chance in the Weatherbys ‘The French Furze’ Novices’ Hurdle, a race which was won by subsequent Gold Cup winner Native River back in 2014.
Rose Dobbin took the 2017 renewal with Coole Hall and her Captain Quint makes a quick reappearance, having won at Hexham just 10 days ago. Runner-up in his Irish Point, this longer trip shouldn’t pose any problems, provided that the race doesn’t come too soon.
He faces a much stiffer test here, however, and Mr Glass is likely to be a warm order, to land the prize for Paul Nicholls and Sean Bowen, who team up in the feature contest with the unbeaten Monmiral. This imposing son of Sholokhov won two bumpers last term and ran out an impressive winner on hurdling debut at Chepstow last month. This longer trip should suit and he is likely to prove difficult to beat, before he goes up in grade.
Of the remainder, Marble Sands could be the biggest threat, following an encouraging debut in what looked an above-average contest at Lingfield. The grey son of Martaline has some good bumper form to his name and probably would have won last time, but for making a fairly significant error at the final flight. Ridden patiently, he was doing his best work late on, so ought to relish this longer trip, and in receipt of 5lbs from the previous winners, he should go well for the Fergal O’Brien stable.