Here’s our horse-by-horse race preview for the feature event on Sunday’s Ayr card. Read our betting tips to find out which class-dropper our experts think provides some each-way value.
IN SUMMARY: Spring Offensive seems to be heading in the right direction and, having suffered interference when a very respectable sixth in a hot race at Epsom a month ago, he’s a must for the shortlist off a 1lb lower mark here. Nicolas T, who began his career in bumpers before winning a C&D maiden last month, didn’t quite see out 1m2f when a close second here on his handicap debut and is open to improvement now dropped back in trip. However, at the prices on offer, the suggestion is TWO FOR TWO, who has been some way below his best form for a new stable this year but ran well for a long way over C&D a fortnight ago and now dips into Class 3 company for the first time since 2013. Le Chat D’or and Dark Ocean are others to consider.
1 Two For Two – Yet to hit top gear for new stable this season but ran better than bare form of 6l defeat might suggest when midfield over C&D last month; seems versatile ground-wise, has slipped to a handy mark and will appreciate today’s drop in class; could be the answer.
2 Spring Offensive – Two wins this year, one of soft ground, the other on good to firm; didn’t get the best of runs when very respectable sixth in valuable contest at Epsom (8.5f, good to soft) a month ago and, off a 1lb lower mark here, needs to be taken very seriously.
3 Pintura – Ended last season with a couple of decent efforts and also ran well when third to Le Chat D’Or over C&D (good to soft) after an absence in May; probably won’t be far away but hasn’t tasted victory since May 2013 and, for that reason, others make more appeal.
4 Finn Class – Posted new career-best performance to win the Thirsk Hunt Cup (1m, soft) in April and, on that evidence, today’s 2lb higher mark may not be beyond him; however, he’s finished well down the field on both subsequent outings (7f/1m) and has quite a but to prove now.
5 Father Bertie – Ran a big race from the front when third at Ripon (1m, good to soft) in April but wasn’t in the same form when fourth on Tapeta last month; might be seen to better effect now back on easy turf but remains 2lb above his highest winning mark; tongue-tie now added.
6 Ingleby Angel – Ended time with David O’Meara with comfortable win at Carlisle (1m, good to firm) in September but has looked out of sorts for a new stable this year; took step back in the right direction when fifth at Redcar (1m, good to soft) last month and continues to slide down the weights but it’s probably wise to wait for more conclusive evidence of a return to form.
7 Invoke – The latest of his four wins in 2015 was gained off today’s mark but she ought to have been suited by the trip/ground when soundly beaten on her seasonal reappearance at York in May; today’s conditions should also be fine but she needs to have taken significant benefit from that outing.
8 Le Chat D’Or – Suited by some ease underfoot and has gained his last three wins over C&D, the latest on good to soft ground in May (Pintura third); subsequent 3lb rise doesn’t look excessive; no surprise if he comes from off the pace to pose a threat again today.
9 Dubai Dynamo – Old-timer who took advantage of some help from the handicapper when coming from off the pace to score at Hamilton (8.3f, good to soft) last month; didn’t run badly when midfield in the Carlisle Bell on latest outing but lacks a turn of foot nowadays and is probably vulnerable to younger legs.
10 Dark Ocean – Made satisfactory seasonal debut when fifth at Redcar (1m, heavy) in March; failed to build on that performance when fourth at Pontefract (1m, soft) the following month but remains on a workable mark and might be better suited by the slightly less testing conditions here.
11 Nicholas T – Lightly raced 4yo who delivered on promise shown in bumpers when winning C&D maiden (good to soft) on last month’s Flat debut; also ran well when close second on handicap debut back here (1m2f, good to firm) a few days later and today’s drop back in trip is probably the right move.
myracing Forecast Prices: 7/2 Nicholas T, 9/2 Spring Offensive, 6/1 Le Chat D’Or, 8/1 Two For Two, Pintura, Dark Ocean, 12/1 Finn Class, Father Bertie, Invoke, 14/1 Dubai Dynamo, 25/1 Ingleby Angel