John Ferguson: Trainer of El NamoosePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Ferguson out to improve impressive strike-rate
JOHN FERGUSON will be hoping to improve his impressive one-in-three strike-rate at Musselburgh on Sunday with El Namoose in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle.
Since taking out his training licence, Ferguson has has enjoyed great success when sending his horses to Scotland with a 10 from 31 record at the track.
El Namoose has won four of his five starts under rules with his only defeat coming when finishing down the field behind Silver Concorde in the Wetherbys Champion Bumper at last year's Cheltenham Festival.
Priced at 3-1 with the race sponsors, Ferguson will be hoping his six-year-old can continue his rich vein of form. He has also entered Retrieve and Sea Lord in the Listed John Smith's Scottish County Hurdle and Aaqalim in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) on what should be an informative trial day for the festival in March.
Another horse hoping for a big run in the first race on the card is the Brian Ellison-trained The Grey Taylor who is 5-1 with Sky Bet.
Having won two of his three races this season another bold showing is expected from The Grey Taylor before going to the Cheltenham.
Ellison said: "I think The Grey Taylor has come on again and better ground will improve him as well. Musselburgh won't be a problem to him - he has plenty of pace - and we have had this race in mind for a while."
"We have given him an entry in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham."
The race has attracted a total of 12 entries with Cardinal Walter and Sweet Deal from the Nicky Henderson yard and the Tom George-trained Some Buckle among the other fancied runners.