The feature race on Monday is a competitive £25,000 handicap over 1m at Ayr. Read our full race preview for our top betting tips.
IN SUMMARY; Several of these are in good form and this looks very open, but it could pay to focus on the lightly raced contenders. At the prices, the suggestion is MIKMAK, who was deemed worthy of a crack at a Group 2 prize in October and got his career back on track with a good effort at Doncaster last month. Second choice is Nicholas T, who finished well when a close third behind Pintura over C&D a fortnight ago and can better that performance if this race is strongly run. Others for the shortlist are Keystroke, Lord Ben Stack and Another Touch.
1 Lat Hawill – Placed on first two starts for new stable this spring and didn’t get the best of runs when second at Ripon (1m, good) on the more recent occasion; subsequent 2lb nudge up the weights looks manageable but he has something to prove after a disappointing C&D run last time.
2 Keystroke – Lightly raced 4yo who landed a valuable prize on the AW at Wolverhampton (8.6f) in March; not seen since finishing in the ruck in the Spring Mile at Doncaster the following month but subsequent break might well have done him good and he remains one to be interested in.
3 Lord Ben Stack – Not seen again last season after going close at Haydock (10.3f, good to soft) just over a year ago but was sent off favourite for reappearance run in April, only to disappoint on heavy ground; ought to be better suited by today’s conditions, though, and still has some potential.
4 Fort Bastion – Competitive off higher marks in several very valuable handicaps over the last few years but doesn’t get his head in front very often and was unable to sustain his challenge on either start last month; probably vulnerable to younger/progressive rivals again today.
5 Pintura – Had some of today’s rivals behind when holding on to win narrowly over C&D (good to soft) a fortnight ago, his first success since 2013; only been nudged up 2lb for that and can give another good account but will probably find at least a couple of his younger rivals too strong this time.
6 Finn Class – Now only 1lb higher than when winning the Thirsk Hunt Cup (1m, soft) at the end of April but seems quickly to have gone off the boil since then and never really threatened when eighth behind Pintura over C&D a fortnight ago; needs to up his game.
7 Dolphin Vista – Two wins over 1m at Ripon this season, and seemed to have a bit left to spare in five-runner contest there on the more recent occasion in May; however, was hit quite hard by the handicapper for that and struggled at Sandown on latest outing; now needs to display further improvement.
8 Le Chat D’Or – Has gained his last three wins over C&D, the latest in Class 3 event off 3lb lower in May; in the mix today if on song but has very little scope to improve as an 8yo and finished last behind Pintura back here a fortnight ago; others more appealing.
9 Another Touch – Ended 2yo season with success in good-quality C&D nursery in September and made pleasing return to action when close second at Doncaster (7f, soft) in April; unable to land a significant blow in a hot race the following month but in calmer waters here and goes on the shortlist.
10 Margaret’s Mission – Not beaten far in the Cambridgeshire on final run last season and reappeared with two good efforts this year, the more recent when third over C&D last month; not at best on latest outing at Ascot but current mark probably not beyond her.
11 Dream Walker – Suited by some underfoot ease and produced a good performance to win from off the pace at Leicester (7f, soft) a couple of weeks ago; remains well handicapped on old form but might have been slightly flattered by the way that race panned out and doesn’t want the ground to dry.
12 Mikmak – Lightly raced 3yo who was soundly beaten on first two starts this season but returned to form when creditable second at Doncaster (1m, good to soft) last month; that performance already puts him in the picture here and it’s quite possible he can build on it.
13 Nicholas T – Delivered on promise shown in bumpers when winning C&D maiden on last month’s Flat debut and has been placed back here in both subsequent handicaps (1m2f/1m), more recently when close third behind Pintura a fortnight ago; 2lb higher now but a stronger pace today could show him in an even better light.
14 Gworn – In the frame three consecutive times over 1m2f here in recent weeks and is also suited by today’s trip but is up in class today and evidently holds no secrets from the handicapper; sports refitted cheekpieces today but headgear hasn’t had much of an effect when previously used.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/1 Keystroke, 6/1 Dream Walker, Nicholas T, 8/1 Lord Ben Stack, Another Touch, 10/1 Pintura, Dolphin Vista, Mikmak, 12/1 Gworn, 14/1 Fort Bastion, 16/1 Lat Hawill, Le Chat D’Or, Margaret’s Mission, 20/1 Finn Class