It has made a refreshing change this week to see better ground conditions than those we have endured over the past months.
Good ground for Scottish Grand National Day at Ayr and we are going to look at the opening race of their well supported eight race card.
1.45 2m½f Scotty Brand Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
A number of these are returning from breaks after being out of form and are potentially well handicapped. This makes for a difficult race to price with total confidence.
Dolos caught the eye on his latest start at Cheltenham, when being tailed off at the top of the hill before staying on well up the home straight.
If Theinval turns out again after yesterday’s run here in which he was badly hampered five out and battled on to finish fourth. His chance is respected, although he is a difficult horse to win with.
Last year’s winner of this race Vaniteux was then trained by Nicky Henderson. He has his second run back after a wind operation and is well in on last year’s form.
Forest Bihan makes most appeal at the current prices. Connections have patiently waited for quicker ground conditions, having bypassed Cheltenham and Aintree. He has a tough task under top weight, but is expected to run a big race.
I price the top of the market on my private tissue as follows:
Forest Bihan 5/1
Duke of Navan 8/1
The early books have Vaniteux as their marginal favourite at around 9/2. With twelve to post at present, each way backers can get quarter odds.
Just the one bet yesterday as 2/1 winner Azzuri led all the way for dominant 15 length victory.
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