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13:40 Ayr Delusionofgrandeur has a 50% winning strike rate both over today’s trip and when racing over fences. He makes his handicap debut in a competitive looking race but with three wins from his last four and with both trainer and jockey in decent form he looks to have a good chance of a top three finish. Paul Nicholls won this race last year and sends the ultra-consistent Keltus to attempt win it again. He has conditions to suit and is proven over the trip but hasn’t always fired on return from a break so the biggest danger looks to be Beware The Bear who, although well beaten at Cheltenham when last seen, is two from two over today’s trip when tackling fences. Delusionofgrandeur (E/W)

13:55 Newbury Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore have teamed up to take this race for the last two years and with Midterm they have an excellent chance of making it a hat-trick. A winner on his only other visit to Newbury and with excellent runs on return from a break (winning a Group 3 and placing in a Group 2) he looks the one to beat. Dal Harraild has made the frame in all five previous runs over today’s trip and comes next in the early market, however disappointed on seasonal re-appearance last year and may need the run. Chemical Charge made the perfect start to the season with a commanding victory at Doncaster earlier in the month and Oisin Murphy has a 100% win strike rate when riding the the five year old so is respected, while Crimean Tatar is another worthy of a mention having beat Chemical Charge on the all-weather last November and winning a maiden on turf by seven lengths prior to that, taking his career record to two wins from two, both over twelve furlongs. Midterm (WIN) – NAP

14:10 Ayr According to the early markets this looks likely to be a straight match-up between rivals Flying Angel and Cloudy Dream who occupied the first two positions in the Manifesto Novices Chase at Aintree earlier this month. Preference of the two is for Flying Angel who was headed approaching the last, only to show great battling qualities to win by a length. Clan Des Obeaux returned to form with a convincing eleven length victory at Exeter in March and, having missed both Cheltenham and Aintree, looks the most likely to capitalise if fatigue kicks in for the afore-mentioned market principles. Flying Angel (WIN)

14:30 Newbury Queen Kindly is a Group 2 winner over six furlongs and with ground to suit will be a big danger if seeing out the extra furlong she encounters today. Rain Goddess and Promising are likely improvers and are considered for each way purposes but preference is for Dabyah who was a nine length winner over course and distance last September before just failing to catch the winner when a half length third in a Group 1 race last time out. With both trainer and jockey in fantastic form over the last couple of weeks the favourite looks difficult to see past for win purposes. Dabyah (WIN)

14:45 Ayr Dan Skelton has a 40% winning strike rate in the last three years with his runners over hurdles here and won this race last year with Ch’tibello. He runs Bertimont and Mohaayed today and it is the latter who is preferred of the two. A fourteen length winner on penultimate run, he also ran well despite only seventh at Cheltenham when last seen, just half a length behind today’s early favourite Winter Escape. London Prize and Sceau Royal both have the ability to get involved but I also think Hawk High is capable of a decent run in a race of this nature and could outrun his early 25/1 odds. Mohaayed (E/W if 9/2+)

15:05 Newbury Dream Castle was very impressive when winning over today’s trip at Doncaster earlier this month and Barney Roy also put in a striking performance when beating two subsequent winners over a mile in September last year. Both hold 2000 Guineas entries and it would be a surprise if they weren’t in the mix. However, this looks to be a tough race and both War Secretary and Zainhom have shown enough to suggest they have decent races in them this season. As the top of the market is so tight I am going to take a chance on Via Serendipity who although is stepping up in grade has improved with each of his three career runs so far, posting two placed efforts and one victory, all over today’s trip on similar ground conditions to what he is likely to encounter today. Via Serendipity (E/W)

15:20 Ayr There is a danger that two runs in the last five weeks may catch up with Double W’s, however he looked full of running when winning at Aintree, finishing six lengths ahead of Yorkist in the process. He has a good record at Ayr and has made the frame in all eight over a two mile trip so looks worth sticking with here. Vaniteux was threatening to become a shade disappointing this season before winning a Listed contest at Kempton in January. He wasn’t seen to full effect at Cheltenham and is tried in cheekpieces as he drops back to two miles for today’s race but still has a bit to prove for me, so the biggest danger looks to be Simply Ned who has won two from two over course and distance and will find this a little easier than when last seen in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham. Double W’s (E/W if 9/2+)

15:40 Newbury Chelsea Lad hasn’t been seen since winning over course and distance almost a year ago and should prove popular in the betting with Ryan Moore taking over in the saddle. However, the early prices aren’t enticing given the length of break and the size and scope of the opposition. Donncha rarely runs a bad race but usually finds a couple too good and hasn’t won now for almost two years so i’m opting for Banksea who has placed on all three previous attempts over a mile and has gone well when fresh, winning on debut and finishing a half length second of seventeen on re-appearance last season. He has won two and placed in four from his ten career runs to date and trainer Luca Cumani boasts a 26% winning strike rate in the last three years at Newbury so i’m happy to take early each way odds of around 11/1. Banksea (E/W)

15:55 Ayr Vincente was a faller at the first fence in the Grand National at Aintree so it has to be taken on trust that this hasn’t affected his confidence. On a more positive note it means he arrives here relatively fresh and on the same mark as when winning this race last year so is worth an each way play in an extremely tough race. Missed Approach, Premier Bond and Southfield Royale are others capable of getting involved with a clear round of jumping but at a bigger price my second selection for this race is Fine Rightly who, although would probably prefer a bit of rain, has an excellent record at Ayr having won three and placed in three from seven and has done all of his winning towards the back end of the national hunt season. Vincente (E/W) Fine Rightly (E/W)


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