1.40pm Ayr Tips & Betting Preview 22/04/2017

With eight of the last ten winners aged seven that is just about the only useful statistic available for this race with just the two winning favourites in the last ten years and others successful at odds up to 12/1, though Netminder in 2013 was the only horse to win at a double figure price in that period. With plenty of recent winners in a very competitive field, it may be best to start with Laurium (6/1) who fits the age profile and represents the in form Nicky Henderson stable who are sitting pretty on a 31% strike rate in the last two weeks thanks to twelve winners form their last thirty-nine runners. As for the horse, he is a gelded son of Gold Away who has won two of his five starts over fences including last time out when seeing off Bivouac by thirteen lengths at Kempton at odds of Even money in a Class Four Novices’ Handicap over three miles, making the running and drawing clear fairly easily. Nico de Boinville rode him that day and is in the saddle again this afternoon but he has been put up four pounds in the ratings though that is anything but harsh and he may take some catching if the same tactics are employed today. After the race Nicky said “Laurium jumped great and enjoyed himself…. It’s so hard to find a 3m novice chase on good ground at this time of year so I had to run ….I nearly put Laurium in the Scottish National this morning and it’s that sort of race we’ll look at in the future. He might just be a bit better going left-handed too”, all of which sounds very promising and a big run seems guaranteed though he does have an awful lot of weight and looks poor value.

Further down the weights sits Bells ‘N” Banjos (14/1 Each Way) who runs here for trainer Fergal O’Brien as he looks to get back to winning ways having failed to see out the four miles in the National Hunt Chase when only eighth at Cheltenham. Prior to that he has won two on the bounce at Leicester over two miles six and a half furlongs staying on late to win a shade cleverly in early February and the three miles today could be ideal, with Paddy Brennan back in the saddle. The stable are ticking over very nicely with three winners from their last fourteen runners (21%) and a level stakes profit of nine points. With just the three races over fences so far he has room for a lot more improvement than most and at the prices looks the value call in a fascinating contest.

The assumption that Nico de Boinville chose Laurium may not be accurate even though Beware The Bear (9/2) also runs here for the stable with Jeremiah McGrath in the saddle. The seven-year-old won  four in a row (two over hurdles and two over fences) for the same jockey, before Sam Whaley-Cohen took over in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham where they finished seventh. That run is best ignored as his jockey lost his irons early on and was never a factor, but he clearly gets on well with Jeremiah and it will be interesting to see how they get on again today and whether or not they can keep their 100% win record when working together as a team. This is a step up in class which is the only negative but he won’t be disgraced and could even be part of a Henderson one-two on the day even carrying top weight here.

With the Alan King yard back in among the winners better may well be expected of Label Des Obeaux (7/1) who was last seen in action at Cheltenham in the Ultima Chase when never really in contention before finishing a forty-seven length eleventh of twenty-three to Un Temps Pour Tout.The stable were a bit out of sorts then so he may have had excuses and although he has been left on the same rating, he may well do a lot better now in what looks a slightly easier race to win. With trainer Alan King and jockey Wayne Hutchinson both on a 16% success rate in the last two weeks, fans of the stable can expect a big run, though off joint top weight a place may be the best they can realistically hope for.

To round off this race preview Delusionofgrandeur (9/1) is on a roll with three wins from his last four starts zat Catterick (twice) and then at Wetherby. This is a step up in grade for the seven-year-old but trainer Sue Smith is nobody’s fool and off a low weight he could well be the dark horse here.  Danny Cook rides and as both are in among the winners and the horse likes to front run and thus avoid trouble, and it will be interesting to see if he can get to the front in this classier event and how he does when he gets there.





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