Noel Kelly is sending two runners from his base in Northern Ireland to Ayr on Thursday. Although the trip isn’t as long as some, the logistical inconvenience makes this significant. Connections will have to fork out for the ferry over and will be hoping for some compensation. One of the runners seems to have a better chance than the other but there are no guarantees in this game. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
Vango Opera has had two runs over hurdles so far and was beaten by a long way in both. The first of these came at Down Royal in November where he was beaten by a total of 95 lengths. Invictus Machin was the winner that day and he disappointed after drifting like a barge at Punchestown earlier this week. There wasn’t much to cheer about at Fairyhouse earlier this month when he was beaten by 76 lengths. Although the form of that race suggests it may have been a minor improvement. British maidens don’t tend to be as strong as Irish ones which offers hope but a tonne of improvement is still required.
Gaius has a significantly better chance of winning his race on form. This lad has already scored twice this season and is a strong stayer. Win number one came at Punchestown over an extended 2m4f before winning again at Sligo next time over a trip in excess of 3m1f. On that evidence, he’ll want this race to be run at a strong pace to bring his stamina into play. This is a competitive race and some improvement might be needed but that isn’t out of the question. He’ll need to bounce back after a disappointing effort at Fairyhouse last time but that run can be forgiven.
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.