17:45 Aintree: Purple Bay fits the bumper’s bill
In two of the last three years, a good run in the Champion Bumper has paved the way for success in this Grade Two flat race.
This time round, it seems that Purple Bay’s fifth at the Festival looks the form to beat as he tries to recreate the successes of previous victors such as The New One last year and Megastar in 2010.
On only his second start for John Ferguson, the four-year-old, currently a 13/2 shot, followed up his debut victory at Doncaster with an impressive fifth at Cheltenham and stayed on extremely well in behind the places.
That run was extremely similar to that of The New One in 2012, who finished sixth in the same race after being slightly outpaced but staying on well.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ novice, who has been so impressive this year, went on to secure victory in this race and Purple Bay will be hoping to follow suit.
Similarly, winner of this race in 2010, Megastar, also put in a good performance in the Champion Bumper prior to this race and finished fifth – exactly the same as Purple Bay this year.
Not only do the trends point to Ferguson’s charge, but the fact that he had several of his rivals behind at Cheltenham is also a big positive.
Twiston-Davies’ Pure Science, currently 9/1, got within a length of him, but there was nothing to suggest had the race panned out much differently he would have been capable of reversing that.
Caledonia, 33/1, and Sgt Reckless, 11/1, were further behind.
Of those who did not feature in that race, Vago Collonges, currently 10/1, looks the biggest threat.
He fell just short when seeking the hat-trick at Newbury after failing to settle and finding just one too good. However he has class in abundance and is definitely open to progression.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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