Tag Archives: ayr

Patience rewarded

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

Theinval             11/2

Vaniteux            7/1

Dolos                 7/1

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.


Forest Bihan

Summer campaign

Just the one bet yesterday as 2/1 winner Azzuri led all the way for dominant 15 length victory.

You can join now for the summer season and get the rest of this month included free plus a good discount from the standard terms. Last summer saw a profit on stakes on all bets of over 50% and a 45% strike rate. For more details go to: www.slh.co.uk

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Learning day

Good afternoon of racing ahead including three jumps meetings from Wetherby, Ayr and the first card of the season from Ascot. Going to look at three races from Wetherby where the going is Soft with light rain forecast.

1.30 1m7f  Happy 50th Birthday Jayne Forth Novices’ Chase (Class 3) (4yo+)

Born Survivor has point to point experience and shouldn’t lack for fitness on chasing debut. Evens my provisional tissue.

Born Survivor


2.05 2m olbg.com Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Soft ground is a concern for favourite La Bague Au Roi.

Lady Buttons worth a look in a race which is very difficult to price. Currently a best priced 8/1.


Lady Buttons


3.15 3m bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

A repeat of Coneygree’s last run in the Punchestown Gold Cup would make him very difficult to beat.

Cue Card is the obvious danger.

Bristol De Mai worth a close look. I’m hoping he can get back to his best after disappointing on his last three starts.

Impossible race to price with confidence.



It is another learning day with so many making their seasonal debuts. The form will start to settle soon, making races easier to price more accurately. For the latest membership terms and your free information pack, go to: www.slh.co.uk

Army dreamers

With the abandonment of Ayr we are left with three flat turf meetings in Britain today plus a National Hunt fixture in Ireland. I will be keeping a close watch on the latter as part of my preparations for the fast approaching main jumps campaign.

We are concentrating on a race each from Newbury and Newmarket this morning, the going at both is Good.

2.50 Newbury 6f Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (2yo)

Invincible Army looked to have progressed further when winning on the polytrack at Kempton on his latest start. He sets the form standard.

James Garfield was just touched off over 7f at York after looking sure to win. Dropping back to 6f here isn’t sure to suit.

Enjazaat steps back up in class after easily winning a listed race at Ripon.

Invincible Army looks sure to run a big race and is preferred. 3/1 on offer early.

My tissue:

Invincible Army   5/2

Enjazaat                4/1

James Garfield    4/1

10/1 bar

Invincible Army

5.30 Newmarket 1m (Row) discovernewmarket.co.uk Fillies’ Handicap (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-95)

Panova is a noted horse who is proving to be a disappointment. Cheek-pieces are fitted today.

She ties in closely with Dubara on Goodwood form.

Also at Goodwood, Shenanigans stayed on well to win and is progressive. The market reflects her chance.

I price the main contenders:

Shenanigans  2/1

Dubara   7/2

Panova   7/2

8/1 bar

Panova (far side)

The Ayr Gold Cup meeting was the centrepiece of the week and losing all three days meant we were left with some pretty unsuitable betting cards elsewhere. So it has been a quiet week with one winner from our two bets so far.

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Royale Ayr

We stay at Ayr today for two races including the Scottish Grand National. The going remains Good to Soft/Good in places with the ground slightly drying as the day progresses.

3.20 Ayr 1m7½f Scotty Brand Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

 Tight betting heat with little unanimity between the odds compilers.

Romain De Senam enjoys a weight pull with a few of today’s rivals on recent Aintree form.

Conditions suit and I will be surprised if he doesn’t run close. 6/1 fav my provisional tissue and 7/1 generally with the books.

Paul Nicholls with Romain De Senam

3.55 4m Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5yo+)

30 declared for the final major national of the season following the Aintree and Fairyhouse nationals in recent weeks.

Southfield Royale is expected to run a big race. Although he has shown no form in two starts this season, he was fancied to go close in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, but fell before half-way.

He is well handicapped on last season’s form, with connections believing he retains all of that ability. Best priced 11/1 this morning, which seems reasonable

Southfield Royale

I have recently spent some time in readiness for the forthcoming summer campaign. Always good to meet up with contacts and see their preparations first hand. Get your free info pack and qualify for special summer rates at: www.slh.co.uk

5/1 the field

Opening day of the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr today. The going is Good to Soft and Good in places. Showers are forecast for the early afternoon with a drying wind throughout the day.

We are going to briefly look at one race:

 2.40 Ayr

 A wide open 2m Class 3 handicap hurdle in which Azzuri looks to be a vulnerable favourite as he makes his handicapping debut.

Although ‘thrown-in’ on last season’s form, he has run way below that level in three starts this season. The latest run saw him well held by the winner in a fairly modest novice hurdle at Wincanton.

Outsider of the field with some books is Captain Brown at around 9/1. He was 3rd in this race last year and is expected to go well running off the same mark.

Nothing can be completely ruled out. I go 5/1 the field.


Ayr racecourse


I have recently spent some time in readiness for the forthcoming summer campaign. Always good to meet up with contacts and see their preparations first hand. Get your free info pack and qualify for special summer rates at: www.slh.co.uk

Royal Ascot repeat?

Plenty of non-runners at Newbury, many deterred by the soft ground after the midweek ‘monsoon.’ At Ayr the going is Good to Soft and light rain is forecast this afternoon.

One race from each for us today.

1.45 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes (Group 3)

Formerly known as the Arc trial, this 1m 3f race attracts five runners.

Hardwicke stakes winner Dartmouth is better than latest run suggests and sets the form standard. He is expected to handle today’s conditions.

Algometer is an early season noted horse returning from a break after running in the Derby. Ground conditions will suit and he can progress.

Robin Of Navan returned to form on latest start in a high class All Weather race at Kempton.

I price the five runners as follows:

Dartmouth 13/8

Algometer  7/2

Robin Of Navan 7/2

Ayrad  9/1

Tashaar  12/1




2.00 Ayr William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes (Group 3)

6f sprint for 2 y.o.’s with the winner collecting over £36,000.

Bletchley will be suited by conditions and is expected to return to the form which saw her finish 2nd in the Albany at Royal Ascot.

Drumfad Bay may find this trip too short.

Partitia is progressive, comes here looking for a hat-trick of victories.

Bletchley is a best priced 3/1, which is in line with my thinking.


Bletchley (near side)


As we saw yesterday with Clem Fandango, my early season noted horses shortlist is picking up winners. For a free copy and an information pack, go to: www.slh.co.uk

Top value

Two races for us today at Ayr where the ground is Good to Soft.

 1.50 Ayr Weatherbys Private Bank Novices´ Limited Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)

Very open contest, where it’s possible to make a case for all seven runners.

At current odds Top Billing is the pick for me. Ran well on his return to fences at Carlisle and will appreciate this step up to 3m. Is fairly handicapped and expected to go well.

Top weight and favourite Vivaldi Collonges looks the main threat. Has past winning form over course and distance.

I price the market leaders as follows:

Vivaldi  Collonges  7/2

Top Billing  9/2

One For Art  6/1

8/1 bar

4.10 Ayr Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)

With a strong Irish challenge, impossible to price with confidence.

Plenty of focus will be on the Irish National fourth, Folsom Blue as trainer Mouse Morris attempts to land a unique national treble by winning the Grand National plus Irish and Scottish versions in the same season.

Home trained runners Seeyouatmidnight and Vicente are fairly handicapped and both will appreciate this stamina test. The pair are currently 18/1 and 22/1 respectively.

Jockeys 5lb claim could prove to be useful on Seeyouatmidnight.





After the abandonment of Newbury, we have three other turf meetings remaining today in Britain. The ground at all will be fairly testing. A lot of trainers will have entered their horses for today in the expectation that the ground would be far better. As we can see from the substantial number of non-runners, many have decided against taking their chances in unsuitable conditions.


Red Day?

Two races for us to quickly look at this afternoon and then I would like to touch on the new Flat season.

Firstly to the Fontwell 2.10. Billy Merriott has raced just four times since his last victory in November 2012 and has failed to finish in three of them. However, his last outing at Doncaster just over four months ago showed that he could retain some of his old ability. I trust Harry Fry has put plenty of work into the 10 y.o. Impossible race to price with confidence, I would provisionally put Billy Merriott in at 9/4.

A marked step up in class as we go to Ayr for their premier race on the card. The 3.45 is a listed race worth over £25,000 to the winner. Definitly Red and Double Shuffle are at the head of the market.

Definitly Red drops 5lb from his lacklustre showing at the Cheltenham Festival and is on a favourable mark. My negative is the 2m 4f trip may be too sharp.

The bookmakers are taking no chances, with a general 11/4 quote. 9/2 on my tissue.

Pity we have lost Newbury today, but the two days of Newmarket this week have been interesting.

Sutter County
Sutter County

On Wednesday I analysed three additional races for clients personal use as part of the comprehensive racing service provided. Two over the jumps winning at 13/8 and 6/1 plus highlighting the Royal Ascot prospects of Sutter County. Whilst winning narrowly at prohibitive odds, he will come on from that run in fairly testing ground.

Just one flat horse for us the following day, another narrow winner, this time at 3/1.

As a professional, I like to see the flat season take shape before getting involved. Account betting will start in the forthcoming weeks.

Back tomorrow morning.

Cheltenham Preview

Three meetings for us today and a quick look at one race from Ayr this afternoon.

Will be finalising the Cheltenham preview this weekend. If you want to order a copy and help a very worthwhile racing charity, all the details are on my website: www.slh.co.uk.

Online orders via:

Festival preview only: http://www.slh.co.uk/index.php/2016-cheltenham-festival-preview

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John Hunt has sent in a great piece which is well worth a read.

Pont Alexandre & Roi Des Francs
Pont Alexandre and Roi Des Francs jump together. Get John Hunt’s full Cheltenham thoughts by ordering the preview today.

In the Ayr 2.30, I noted Jumbo John when finishing third at Punchestown last month. I have him at 4/1 on my tissue, which is about the price he is with the books.

Back tomorrow with a look at one of the feature races.



Saturday Preview

2014 Ayr Gold Cup winner Louis The Pious
2014 Ayr Gold Cup winner Louis The Pious

From tomorrow onwards I will be analysing at least one of the Saturday feature races.

Plenty of prize money on offer at Ayr tomorrow with the Ayr Gold Cup being the highlight.

Newbury Stage two Group 3 races and the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes.

Channel 4 are showing eight races from Ayr and Newbury starting with the Arc Trial at 1.45.

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