Ayr stages the last of the season’s big Nationals, with Mouse Morris hoping for a famous treble following Rule The World’s success in the big one last Saturday.
Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase
The ground won’t be quite as testing as it ended up being at Aintree, but with “soft” still in the going description, and 4 miles to cover, stamina will still be key.
One horse proven at the trip is ROYALE KNIGHT and with Dr Richard Newland’s yard in flying form this horse has to be backed today. His handicap mark was being protected with a crack at the Grand National in mind, but he missed the cut there and that may prove a blessing in disguise. He ran a great trial over hurdles at Ascot last time out.
Alvarado also failed to make the line-up for the big one at Aintree despite finishing fourth their last season, but with a light weight and proven stamina he too can make his presence felt here.
A fast improving stayer is TOUR DES CHAMPS and if a series of hard races over marathon trips haven’t left their mark he still looks capable of exploiting his current rating, especially if the ground is riding softer than predicted.
Heathfield would also run well in those conditions, but for those looking to smash one out of the park the best long shot could be MASTERS HILL.
It has been a stellar season for Colin Tizzard and this horse looks the sort to improve for the step up in trip. His pilot has an excellent record in staying chasers too and so he shouldn’t be short of help from the saddle.
It is not easy to win these staying chases from high up in the handicap, particularly on soft ground, so although the likes of Vicente, Seeyouatmidnight and Fine Rightly have strong form claims, it is hard to ignore the weight of statistical evidence that is against them here.
|Royale Knight (ew)||4.10 Ayr||20/1||Bet365|
|Tour Des Champs (ew)||4.10 Ayr||28/1||Bet365|
|Masters Hill (ew)||4.10 Ayr||40/1||Bet365|
There are some excellent supporting races at the Scottish track.
Future Champion Novices’ Chase
The Future Champion Novices Chase should go the way of BRISTOL DE MAI, who looks a class above his rivals. Le Mercurey could give him most to do, dropped back in trip.
|Bristol De Mai (win)||2.25 Ayr||8/15||Bet365|
Scottish Champion Hurdle
The Scottish Champion Hurdle looks at the mercy of Ivan Grozny if he is in the same form as he was when sluicing up in the final race on Grand National day last weekend. But that race may have left its mark, so ZAIDIYN looks better value as he seems to be blossoming at the right time.
The in-form STERNRUBIN is the other one to note as he put up a fine effort at Cheltenham last time out in the County Hurdle.
|Zaidiyn (ew)||3.00 Ayr||20/1||Sky Bet|
|Sternrubin (ew)||3.00 Ayr||10/1||Bet365|
Scotty Brand Handicap Chase
The handicap chase over two miles looks between UPSILON BLEU and UBALTIQUE and both can be backed given their prices.
|Upsilon Bleu (ew)||3.35 Ayr||6/1||Bet365|
|Ubaltique (ew)||3.35 Ayr||14/1||Bet365|
Starlight Walk Handicap Hurdle
Finally, TWO TAFFS should be able to break his duck over hurdles in the 4.45pm. He ran really well at Sandown last time out, despite suffering a troubled passage and has top weight Abre De Vie to beat.
|Two Taffs (win)||4.45 Ayr||7/2||Sky Bet|