Just the five runners go to post for this 0-120 handicap chase at Ayr racecourse for a purse of £4,224. The trip is an extended three miles and with soft conditions expected, it will take a bit of getting. Read on to hear our thoughts on each runner and our tip will be attached.
IN SUMMARY: Very competitive little handicap to get stuck into and the majority of the runners enjoy soft or heavy ground but NEWTOWN LAD should have too much for these. He has the burden of top weight but for a reason, he is the best horse in the field. He ran poorly in a better race than this last time out but was running on un-fancied good ground. He won well two starts back on heavy and will take beating in this with conditions to suit. Whiskey Chaser looks fairly well treated and can chase him home.
1 Newtown Lad – Lightly raced seven year old gelding trained by the top trainer at the track in recent years, Lucinda Russell. Both of his victories have come in testing conditions, most recently at Uttoxeter in November where he defied a mark of 115 to score on heavy ground. He couldn’t handle the good ground when last seen at Chepstow (8th of 10 runners) and will find this contest much easier. Even though he has the burden of top weight, he is the best horse in the race and should take a lot of stopping.
2 Nortonthorpelegend – Brian Hughes is having the season of his life and he rides this progressive gelding by Midnight Legend for the Rebecca Menzies team. An eight length winner at Sedgefield off 99 on soft ground in November, he followed up off a seven pound higher mark at Catterick in good fashion last time out. He is up another seven for that win so might find this a lot more difficult but he is respected nonetheless.
3 Whiskey Chaser – Fairly exposed nine year old chaser trained by Donald McCain. Three time winner over fences, all of which came on either soft or heavy ground and has won over the extended three miles so conditions will be to suit. Pulled up at Hexham in December off 112 but that was the first run of the season so he probably just needed the run to blow the cobwebs away. Back down to 109 now, just two pounds above his last winning mark so warrants plenty of respect.
4 The Orange Rogue – Sole success from the ten year old’s 17 starts to date came in a four runner affair in a heavy ground chase at Newcastle back in April off a mark of 102. Two pounds higher here so isn’t terribly treated but he has had a real struggle to get his head in front throughout his career and looks worth taking on for win purposes. Others look more solid.
5 Flaming Thistle – Now a 13 year old so is in the twilight stage of his career but he hacked up at Hexham off a mark of 91 when last seen. He now has to defy a mark of 100 though, a career high so could he be trusted to reproduce that effort at his age? Time will tell but he has a lot of work to do to beat some of his rivals for us and looks worth taking on.