Our resident tipster fancies a quartet of runners at Ayr this afternoon.
Ayr looks set to go ahead on Tuesday after a rise in temperature and that’s good news for the connections of the following quartet of warm favourites.
Nick Alexander has his team in good order, as shown by his record of nine winners from 35 runners (27%) since the start of December, and that would have been still had his LAKE VIEW LAD not come to grief in a maiden hurdle at a meeting here earlier this month. The six-year-old son of Oscar had jumped well up to that point and was a length to the good and going well when crashing out at the last. That was more attributable to a stumble than a genuine mistake and, providing his confidence hasn’t been duly affected, this progressive sort can gain compensation in a similar race this afternoon.
Nicky Richards is another handler amongst the winners of late and he looks to have found a good opportunity for UN NOBLE to follow last month’s Southwell success. The six-year-old was breaking his duck over fences that day at the third attempt but that had looked most unlikely as the runners had turned out of the back straight for the first time as he looked to be toiling. To his credit, though, he responded well to pressure and, with his jumping also improving as the race wore on, he stayed on gamely to lead after the last and win with something in hand. The handicapper could only raise him 3lb for that and he looks the sort to keep on improving and run up a sequence in this sort of grade.
Stuart Coltherd took over the training of QUICK DECISSON in the summer and the eight-year-old, formerly a winner for Philip Hobbs, ran his best race yet for the Selkirk-based trainer when beaten half a length by Willie Hall over course and distance earlier this month. The winner reopposes here on 2lb worse terms and, while he should again go well, the selection may have his measure this time. A perpetual front runner, he perhaps set too strong a pace last time along with the eventual third and, granted a bit more piece up front today, he can take his revenge and land the spoils.
The Kenneth Slack-trained DISCOVERIE has let down favourite backers on his last starts, but it’s worth giving him another chance in the handicap hurdle that closes the card. The eight-year-old keeps his form well and won back-to-back races at Sedgefield last season. He lost his way over the summer, but came back to his best when finishing second at that track in December and was then unfortunate to bump into the ridiculously well handicapped Hitman Hearns at Catterick on New Year’s Day, with a slipped saddle not helping his cause. After two silver medals, a 1lb rise is unlikely to stop him taking gold against some very modest rivals.