We open todays action with a trip over the water to Naas in Ireland where the first of three selections is an apprentice six furlong handicap.
The horse worth backing looks to be the three year old, Eddie Lynam trained, maiden Frosty Dream. A decent second placed finish here last time out looks like good form and a step up from five furlongs to six looks to be a positive step. Talented jockey Oisin Orr takes the ride and with Lynam picking up a few winners recently their yard are clearly doing well and their charge looks to have a great chance.
One of the aforementioned horses rivals, Mr Bounty, has been supported by punters and vies for favouritism with our selection. The horse won’t be perturbed by the softer going and should have a chance especially if blinkers bring about some improvement. At the age of six though there’s not likely to be much improvement despite today’s low weight.
A horse that may go well at a bigger price is seven year old Battleoftheboyne who has been running creditably all season. A course victory shows it’ll handle conditions and could be there or thereabouts at a current double figured price.
Frosty Dream (E/W if 9/2+)
Heading over to Scotland for our remaining two selections where this one mile handicap sees us opt for a course and distance winner.
Top jockey Tom Queally sits on top of the Keith Dalglish mount Beautiful Stranger. It’s true that the horse has been disappointing this season but it’s worth noting the following; The horse has raced at Ayr a total of seven times in its career but whenever it’s raced over the course and distance it’s won. Since its victory over todays conditions it’s raced at Ayr three times but over trips that just weren’t to the horses liking. It seems the horse may have been mapped out for this race and if primed and ready for this outing the current 12/1 price could look mightily generous.
Of its rivals Jim Goldie’s Fray looks to have a chance but with only a couple of wins to its name in what were it’s second a and third career outings it looks too short a price to take about a horse who’s avoided the winners enclosure.
Eastern Dragon looks a worthy favourite who has been ultra consistent this year on both the turf and all weather. It looks to surely be in the mix again but I’m hoping it may find one or two too good here and I hope the Dalgleish runner can take advantage.
Beautiful Stranger (E/W)
Our third and final selection today comes in the next race on the card at Ayr.
A case can be made for a number of these with six of the ten runners all having course and distance success to their name.
One of the runners with success over course and distance is lightly raced bottom weight Nicholas T who hails from a yard that loves a winner at Ayr. A win here on its first flat start looks decent but with only six runners today I fear it may come unstuck against more experienced handicappers today.
You couldn’t get much more experienced than nine year old Pintura. A horse that, on its day, was rated as high as 108. Clearly the horse isn’t at that level of ability these days but has put in three decent performances in its last three outings, including a decent effort over course and distance last time out. That race was after a lengthy lay off and is bound to come on for that return to the course and better may be expected of the veteran today.
The Michael Dods trained runners both need respecting but I fear Finn Class won’t be too fond of the softer going and Le Chat D’Or might be just slightly too high in the weights but certainly has enough to find place money.
The biggest threat seems to come in the form of the favourite, Spring Offensive. On its day the Richard Fahey runner can put in a decent performance and there’s certainly a chance of it winning here today, however the horses inconsistent nature puts me off, especially at such a short price.