The starting point to todays article see’s us tackling Ayr and what will almost certainly turn out to be a race to forget, the heavy ground and lack of real form is another negative but two of these have the potential but be a lot better than the grade and both really ought to find a race soon. Grande Antarctique finished second in two bumpers before unseating on his hurling debut, he showed much more when second at Bangor the time after though and this step up in trip will surely bring out more improvement. On paper he is the one they all have to beat and his chance is clear, he is however facing a total unexposed sort and whilst respected he is taken on. Westend Star comfortably won a three mile point to point before changing hands for £125,000, the strength of that point is questionable but the three other finishers that day have subsequently won and this trip is unlikely to catch him off guard, given the heavy going. It has to be considered slightly surprising that the yard have put him in such a lowly contest given his price tag but he will surely turn out to be much better than this and is likely to take a lot of beating.
Westend Star (WIN)
The handicapper gave Too Cool To Fool very little chance when last seen in the Grand Sefton over the National fences last time and that run is best forgotten. Still six pounds above his last winning mark today his win chance has to be considered questionable, the positives for the Goldie challenger are obvious though as five of his six victories have been here and a sixth is no forlorn hope. Ryan Day’s seven pound claim is another positive and his current price of 6/1 looks full of value for each way players on ground he clearly handles well. Cango looked pretty decent when slamming Safari Journey at Catterick, the handicapped handed him a rather lenient looking seven pounds penalty for that success but he disappointingly failed to cash in at Sedgefield the next time and looks a tricky sort to judge. Luke’s Benefit has three wins in Ireland at this trip and is interesting if fully wound up and Molko Jack looks the sort who could surprise off a low weight, both appeal as likely place players but Too Cool To Fool’s love affair with Ayr is the deciding factor for us today.
Too Cool To Fool (E/W if 5/1+)
Club House and Pearl Ransom finished close together in the same race last week and are difficult to separate if judging that form literally, the latter has shown some of his better form when leading though and looks opposable with others likely to hassle him for that role today. The first mentioned of the pair ought to get the decent pace he requires but his overall profile is a little disappointing and he’s proven a costly sort before. Franco’s Secret has been a revelation since connections fitted the cheekpieces and has won two of his last four starts in them, his latest second in a slowly run race at Kempton was a fair one and he looks sure to go close. Malaysian Boleh and Stormbound are others whom like to lead, both have chances at their best but both are likely to tee this up for a closer and Charles Bishop is taken to thread the passage aboard Franco’s Secret and nail them late. Lord Of the Shadows has slipped a long way down the weights of late, at around 10/1 he is interesting but market confidence would be needed and so he is probably best watched.
Franco’s Secret (WIN)
by Chris Connolly