Parlour Games should be suited by step-up in trip according to trainer

PLENTY OF CHANCES: John Ferguson, right, will be well represented at the three-day Cheltenham meeting, which starts tomorrow
PLENTY OF CHANCES: John Ferguson, right, will be well represented at the three-day Cheltenham meeting, which starts tomorrow

Dual hurdle winner Parlour Games is to have his sights raised at Cheltenham when tackling Grade Two company for the first time tomorrow.

The useful Flat performer will contest the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle over 2m5f, and will be one of a host of runners set to grace the Prestbury Park track for Cowlinge trainer John Ferguson during the course of the three-day meeting.

“Parlour Games will run in the two-mile five furlong hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday,” said Ferguson. “He was a very good second in a Listed hurdle over two-miles at Kempton last month.

“He was a previous winner of the Melrose Handicap over a mile-six-furlongs on the Flat and I think the track at Cheltenham will suit as will the step-up in trip. We are hoping for a good run.”

While Parlour Games will carry the stable’s hopes of a winner at Cheltenham tomorrow, Sunday’s concluding day of the fixture could be an even more profitable one for Ferguson.

“We have got both Mijhaar and Pine Creek running in the Greatwood Hurdle on Sunday,” said Ferguson. “I am looking forward to a better run from Mijhaar on Sunday as I thought his run at Market Rasen last time out was a bit rusty.

“Pine Creek won a nice prize at Ascot last season and is a nice horse, but we expect him to come on for the run as it is first race of the season.”

Elsewhere on the same card, Ferguson may let Commissioned contest the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle and Aqalim — who was last seen finishing third in the Grade Two Weatherbys Private Banking Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race at Aintree in April — the Listed National Hunt Flat race.

“Commissioned has won his last two hurdle races and provided the ground is not too soft he will run in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. If he does line-up we expect another good performance,” said Ferguson. “Aqalim will have his last bumper run in the Listed National Hunt Flat race on Sunday before going hurdling. We decided to give him one more bumper run as he carries no penalties for his previous two wins.”

Ferguson enjoyed his biggest winner of the campaign when Purple Bay captured the Grade Two Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday.

“Purple Bay had been working very well prior to 
Saturday,” said Ferguson. “He did well on Saturday as he didn’t like the track or the ground.

“He has now gone up 22lb in three races which shows the horse is really improving.”