English point winner The Grey Scholar makes his Rules debut in the extended 2m 4f novice hurdle at Plumpton on Monday (12:30).
The four-year-old represents the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winning connections of trainer Mark Bradstock and jockey Nico de Boinville.
The pair have a potentially exciting prospect for staying novice hurdle races here.
Bradstock’s stable is modest in size compared to some of the other yards. It’s all about quality over quantity for him.
His grey son of Oscar bolted up by 30 lengths Chaddesley Corbett in April when in the care of Philip Rowley.
The Grey Scholar has since been purchased by the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate.
This was founded by the jockey who retired from riding after steering Get In The Queue to a valuable bumper success at Newbury in March.
Fehily knows a good horse when he sees one. This intermediate hurdles trip is precisely what a point winner like The Grey Scholar needs.
The Grey Scholar starting novice hurdle career over right trip
Some trainers start point winners over the minimum distance under Rules and it’s too sharp for them.
At 4/1 with William Hill, The Grey Scholar is preferred to market leader Quloob.
Gary Moore horses command respect around Plumpton but, give the five-year-old’s Flat career, he isn’t unexposed.
The form of Quloob’s third at Ascot behind Ecco was let down when that horse flopped in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham over the weekend.
Paul Nicholls’ charge simply didn’t get home despite being sent off favourite. That makes the form of that Ascot run open to question.
Although Quloob rallied to regain third at Ascot, he is plenty short enough with bookmakers for a horse that hasn’t won in over two years.
There are reasons to oppose the favourite, then, with The Grey Scholar. Jockey De Boinville boasts a 30 per cent strike rate in the saddle in the last fortnight.
That makes his mounts well worth a punt at Plumpton. He’s the value play if taking to hurdles.
Bet of the Day: 4/1 with William Hill, The Grey Scholar wins the 2m 4f novice hurdle at Plumpton.