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Before I get into the main thrust of today’s blog which is a review of Paul Ferguson’s excellent Jumpers To Follow book, a few house notices for members.
I will be covering Arc Day in ‘Race Previews’ tomorrow which will be uploaded early evening before I put my feet up and watch England v Australia. Also going up in ‘Guest Contributions’ tomorrow will be Ross Miles’ NFL Week 4 preview (expectations are now sky high Ross after an amazing 91pts profit in your first column last week) and Mike Henderson’s preview of the Grand Prix Darts. Uploaded today is an appraisal of five teams that have gone under the radar from Matt of Football Elite, the first of his monthly columns.
Mark Howard’s One Jump Ahead and John Morris’s Jumping Prospects have been very long standing horses to follow books for the jumps season but Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow is also now an established publication with the 2015-2016 edition being the ninth and his best yet in my view. I first met Paul when we appeared together on a Cheltenham Preview Panel in Oswestry run by Let’s Live Racing and was immediately struck by his diligent approach.
So what can you expect from his 116-page book? Although the 40 Leading Prospects which are given a full page each is the focal part of the book, there are in fact a total of 336 horses discussed in one manner or another whether they appear in his stable rounds ups, nominated as exciting prospects by Nick Scholfield, Brendan Powell, Jane Mangan or Jamie Codd, appear within Under The Hammer, a section covering the big purchases in the pre-season sales, or feature in the Across The Sea section where Paul gives his Irish horses to follow. Willie Mullins, so dominant that he is Ireland, is given a section all of his own where 23 of his horses are placed under the microscope.
There is an also experts’ view section and you will be very familiar with that format from my Cheltenham Guides down the years where Chris Cook (The Guardian), Declan Rix (Atttheraces) and Frank Keogh (BBC) are in the hot seat. I’m sure they can fare better a deal better than me when I was asked to partake in the same feature two years ago! Jamie Snowden has written the foreword.
I’m sure Paul won’t mind me mentioning one or two of his 40 Leading Prospects as I am also sweet on Minella Rocco who looks all set to go novice chasing for Jonjo O’Neill and J P McManus at some point this season having seriously impressed at Newbury to make it 2-2 over hurdles having also won his only point-to-point. He would very likely have started favourite for the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at the Grand National Meeting but was withdrawn on the day.
The list has already made a good start with Potters Corner impressing when a heavily-backed winner of the maiden hurdle at Chepstow on Wednesday. Punted off the boards from 7/4 in the morning to an SP of 8/11, he was even as big as 11/2 with Ladbrokes when they first priced up the race when others were 9/2. Fact Of The Matter, a 3/1 winner on that same card, was also given healthy write up when Paul was running through the pick of Jamie Snowden’s horses in his stable round ups. It would appear that Dan Skelton must have made quite an impression on the author when he visited his stables during the summer as there are five of his inmates that have made their way into the elite 40.
If you love your jump racing and like lots of detail and a diligent approach then I can guarantee that you will get plenty out of this publication which is priced at £9.95 and available by emailing Paul direct on [email protected]