Paul Ferguson JTFWell, the proper National Hunt season is nearly upon us and this website will spring back to life.

In the meantime, we have Arc weekend at “Ascot at York” alternative Chantilly (it will be the same next year). While all attention will be on Sunday, I’m having a look at Saturday’s races, beginning with the Prix Dollar (2.50). I don’t see why the Aga Khan’s Zarak should be beaten so, at evens, there is a nice double your money option. We can double up again with another Aga Khan horse, Vazirabad, in the extreme distance Prix du Cadran, at evens again. Combine the two and that’s a nice return before the big day on Sunday.

As for Sunday I’ll be with Postponed (15/8) in a substandard Arc (for small stakes), So Mi Dar (excellent 10/11) in the Prix de l’Opera and (bet of the day) Limato (evens) in the Prix de la Foret.

Yes, they’re all short odds. The simple reason is that the order in the flat season tends to have sorted itself out by now and ground should not be an issue.

I have to say that I’m much more interested in what should be excellent next weekend at Chepstow. Proper prize money and a fair course means that this is now the  meaningful doorway to the NH season.

I’m pleased that Gigginstown have pulled their horses from WP. Taking this into account with the shake up of the Potts and Rooney horses it’s lining up to be a much more interesting season. By the way, I’m predicting a very good season for Donald McCain after last year’s calamity.

As ever, the excellent @paulfergusonJTF provides an unparalleled insight. If you don’t have it already his Jumpers To Follow (pictured)  is essential reading.