The 2 day Scottish Grand National at Ayr kicks off with a handicap hurdle. City Chief goes in as a near evens price favourite (at the time of writing) finally got of the mark under rules at Hereford in a maiden hurdle. He was 1/5 on that day and won to reflect that price. does he justify the price he is today? I'm not so sure.
Half Track has the course experience here and winning here as well and that form has worked out well since. Starlyte gets weight all round but she is up against it here and would need a career best after running early on last week it could be seen as a bit of a quick turnaround
Horse, I keep looking to is Shearer trained for Paul Nicholls none of these horses today have won over this distance. However, Shearer does the have the stamina in his pedigree which could gain him some edge here. Shearer has gone up 3 pounds for his win last time out on handicap debut at Newbury. Having watched him run a few times he always runs with credit and rarely out the top 3 and certainly does have battling qualities which will help with his stamina. I think purely for the value basis he is worth taking on City Chief with who im not fully convinced with.
A small novice clash here sees Irish raiders clashing with the English runners.
Grey Skies is seeking a hattrick under trainer Donald McCain here and certainly has a lively chance today. Winning twice impressively and looking like he may have a bit more in hand. First time up in trip today after winning his last 2 races at 2 miles will have a strong chance here if he takes to being upped in trip.
Thunder Rock had been on a role winning 3 times on the trot until probably outclassed last time out at Sandown providing that hasn't left to much of a mark or disheartened Thunder Rock, he should find this easier today. Clondaw Hollow would need to raise his game significantly to win here on what he has shown so far.
Selection I fancy is the Gordon Elliot trained Irish Blaze. Davey Russell is on board and although Gordon and Davey have a couple runners on the card today. I'm sure they are not here to make the numbers and wouldn't be bringing horses over to Ayr if they didn't fancy their chances.
Irish Blaze won a 25-runner maiden hurdle at Navan which was Heavy ground. Different ground today but has won on similar ground in a point-to-point race. Youd like to think there would be improvement from winning that race at Navan and as i said previously he wouldn't be bringing him over here if he didn't strongly fancy his chances. Does get weight of the majority of his runners today as well which could prove helpful in the run in.
IRISH BLAZE (WIN) written by Luke Tucker