Hydrant looks to have dropped to a new career low mark and that could well work in his favour this afternoon. He scored a hat-trick of wins around this time last year including twice over the course and distance, but has done precious little to trouble any judge subsequently. The booking of Joe Fanning by Rae Guest certainly catches the eye and the ten year old looks sure to give another good account in what looks a fairly ordinary contest.
Testa Rossa is a fairly reliable yardstick and he represents local trainer Jim Goldie. He too is a dual course and distance winner who loves it around this western track. Despite carrying top weight in this race, he always gives his utmost around here and he ought to go well yet again in what will be a first time ride for Paul Mulrennan. Indian Giver is another regular visitor to Ayr and won over this track and trip last season. He will need to reproduce a similar display to what he showed at Hamilton last time in order to get involved and he is another with a solid chance.
Hydrant showed that there was still a bit of life about him when fourth to Millefiori over this course and distance last time. He can confirm the recent form with Indian Giver and it would be of little surprise if he were to return to winning ways here.
HYDRANT (E/W if 9/2+)
Thames Knight makes his seasonal reappearance tonight and having improved with racing throughout all of last year, it could well be that he can progress further. Marcus Tregoning has an excellent twenty percent strike rate at this track and with him engaging a seven pound claimer to ride, he may well be expecting a good first run of the year. With many of these rivals woefully out of form, he may not have to be at his peak fitness in order to strike.
Oasis Spear is likely to improve for his recent run behind Balmoral Castle at Ascot. The form of that race is working out with the likes of Bastille Day and Chevallier going on to win subsequently. The fact remains though that he remains winless in turf and that slightly tempers enthusiasm. Starwatch is a dual course and distance winner whose chances would increase with any drop of rain that falls. William Twiston Davies has partnered the nine year old in the past but they are yet to record a win together. They should have solid place claims here having already benefited from a couple of runs this year.
Thames Knight was good enough to notch up back to back wins at Bath last summer and there is every possibility that he has strengthened up throughout the winter. He went well in a few races for an amateur jockey last year and he commands respect in this line up.
THAMES KNIGHT (E/W if 9/2+)
Boxing Shadows was given a two month break prior to running a good fourth at Hamilton last week. The form of that race has already been boosted by another success for the winner Roy’s Legacy. The selection is still well treated on the best of his old form and despite recording most of his successes on the all weather tracks, he did manage a turf win at Catterick in the past.
Royal Brave met trouble in running at a crucial stage in a sprint at Catterick just over a fortnight ago. He certainly caught the eye and was unlucky not to get closer to the winner. If granted a clearer passage this evening, he may well record a first win of the season. Innocently has landed an ideal position in stall one this evening and he should strip a lot fitter for his recent seasonal reappearance at Newcastle last month. With David O’Meara in excellent form he too is another with each way claims.
Boxing Shadows gets weight from all bar one rival tonight and that could well make all the difference. With a decent position in stall three and the good to firm ground in their favour, PJ McDonald may well find that his mount has all of the answers and a big effort is predicted.
BOXING SHADOWS (E/W if 9/2+)