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14:00 Sedgefield In the last three years Malcolm Jefferson’s runners have won 40% of all runs over fences at Sedgefield and he runs just one over the larger obstacles today so Major Ivan is immediately of interest. He was still in touch with Out Sam before falling two from home last time out (on chase debut) and although is yet to win over todays’ trip he has placed in three from five and has a decent record here having won once and placed once from his two outings. Furthermore, his last career victory came on the back of a six month break so the fact that he hasn’t been since since January should be of no concern. The early favourite is Dan Skelton’s Closest Friend but given that his only career victory came over two furlongs further than he encounters today and that he has attempted todays’ trip ten times without success, the early prices of around 2/1 look to be very short and he is opposed today. Mixboy has been in great form since switching to Keith Dalgleish, posting two wins and two seconds from four runs. He was a wide margin winner on chase debut at Cartmel in July so, despite the fact his main rival that day pulled up after just a couple of fences and todays’ race looks to have more depth, he is respected and looks to be the main danger. Major Ivan (WIN)

17:00 Ayr We return to the flat for our final two selections of the day, both coming from Ayr. Last year’s winner Edgar Balthazar returns to defend his crown but would need to improve on recent runs to get in the mix and with all career wins coming on much better ground than he will encounter today he may struggle today. Sir Billy Wright has winning form on soft ground and ran well when third in a big field handicap at Haydock on Saturday although has now had five races in the last thirty days, has already had a few chances off his current mark and is still 4lbs higher than his last victory. Marjorie Fife has a 30% winning strike rate over the last twelve months at Ayr so Inexes, her only runner on the card, has to be considered. His only previous visit here resulted in a win but, despite three consecutive placed efforts, he remains 5lbs higher than his last victory and looked well held. Tiger Jim has a decent record at Ayr but has only won on good ground so instead we turn to Jay Kay who has an excellent record here having made the frame in seven from eight, including three wins from six over todays’ trip. All career wins have come in lower grades than this but he’s proven on soft ground and with such a good record at the course he looks to be a decent each way shout at early odds of around 8/1. Jay Kay (E/W if 9/2+)

17:30 Ayr The admirable twelve year old Osteopathic Remedy hasn’t won in over two years but is a previous course and distance winner, has winning form on soft and heavy ground and posted his best effort for some time when going down by half a length at Carlisle earlier this month. He is passed over today as his jockey Adam McNamara has only managed one win from forty at the course in the last twelve months. Gone With The Wind has raced over course and distance on two previous occasions, producing a win on soft ground and a placed effort on better ground. He is re-united with talented apprentice jockey Lewis Edmunds who was on board for the course and distance victory and has made the frame in 50% of all rides over the last two weeks. Of the remainder, Ginger Charlie produced his best effort to date when third on soft ground over seven furlongs at Thirsk last time out but is yet to get competitive in three attempts over a mile, while Jocks Wa Hae should benefit from the drop in trip but both career wins so far have come over nine furlongs on better ground than likely to encounter today. Gone With The Wind (E/W if 9/2+)

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