2.40pm Ayr tips for Monday’s race. A two and a half mile Novices’ Handicap Chase could be interesting with soft going expected at this stage. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: It may well be worth taking a risk on BACKINTHESADDLE (Each Way) here if he can only improve his jumping. Although out of the handicap he is very lightly weighted here regardless and is travelling over from Ireland for a reason and looks the value call here with the increase in trip an added bonus.
1 ROYAL PLAZA – The eye-catching jockey booking of Richard Johnson by trainer Olly Murphy can only be a bonus, even though the six-year-old needs to add a little to his recent second to Deauville Dancer at Huntingdon on his first run for the stable after leaving Alan King. Same rating today and sure to be a very major player here with any further improvement.
2 GLINGERSIDE – Four of his six career starts have been here at Ayr including a good novice hurdle win in January which he followed with a neck second over this sort of trip here, again over hurdles. Well beaten (twenty-three lengths) when tried over three miles in April, he hasn’t been seen since and makes his chasing debut this afternoon but has always been expected to do even better over fences and is one of the more interesting contenders with Henry Morshead taking seven pounds off his back.
3 SOCKSY – A tongue tie worked wonders last season with two wins and a third over hurdles at Towcester but she heads north for her chasing debut this afternoon. Trip track and going seem sure to suit and she has the build of a chaser in the making, and if she has schooled as well at home as implied, she has to be a major player here off a rating of 116 which may well be on the generous side.
4 WELL ABOVE PAR – One of the few with the benefit of a recent run and thus with a possible fitness advantage, Lucinda Russell’s five-year-old gelding was a respectable runner-up to Barrys Jack at Perth over an inadequate to miles. Three runs in point-to-points will give him a small experience advantage as well, and if he can improve for the added trip then he is another who ought to be able to get involved in the finish.
5 STAR TACKLE – Anything he ever achieved over hurdles was always going to be a bonus for the son of Milan who hit a top four placing in three point-to-points before getting off the mark at Bellurgan Park in April last year. Three runs over hurdles were less impressive with a third at Chepstow the best of them but chasing is his game and he could run a far better race today.
6 BUFFALO BALLET – Twelve races so far for the one success in a Musselburgh maiden hurdle in 2013 and running out of tm e at the age of eleven. Arrives with an experience advantage after four races over fences but it would be a surprise were he to not be outgunned by some of the younger ones today in this competitive field.
7 ROBINTHEAULAD – The Sandy Thomson stable are in good sorts of late with two winners from four runners in the last fourteen days for a 50% strike rate but the six-year-old is yet to show he is a stable stalwart with the one bumper win from six career starts. He made his chasing debut at Kelso when falling four out while going as well as any but his most recent races have all been over further, suggesting connections see stamina as his strong suit, and he may find one or two of these have a bit too much speed for him over this trip.
8 LOCHNELL – Four times a winner here at Ayr over hurdles at distances ranging from two miles four and a half furlongs to three miles and half a furlong, but a one paced forty-nine length second at Bangor on his only start over fences before, back in February. Left with far too much to do that day he will need to be kept nearer the pace here which in turn may put his jumping under pressure, and she will need to find an awful lot more here.
9 BACKINTHESADDLE – Has to race from just out of the handicap here i.e. carries four pounds more than his allotted handicap mark thanks to the race conditions but he didn’t run badly at all when third on his first run for Stuart Crawford having left the Benjamin Arthey yard. Beaten eleven lengths that day after a bad blunder three out, he may do better upped from the two miles to this trip today and after some intensive home schooling to brush up on his jumping. Travels over from Ireland for this and will be looking to make a proft on the journey at the very least.
10 HERE COMES LOVE – The seven-year-old has to carry twenty-three pounds more than his handicap mark here and has no chance whatsoever on paper at least. Still a maiden after sixteen starts, six over hurdles and ten over fences with a forty-one length fourth at Kelso over further last time out and would be a major surprise were he to even challenge here.