I’M IMPROVING (1.05) has been on my radar for several weeks and Keith Dalgleish sends him to Redcar to contest a 1m 1f maiden.
There was a mountain of cash for I’m Improving at Hamilton at the end of August but he didn’t settle in the early stages. At the time, his third to Lisheen Castle that day looked a bit disappointing but the form has worked out remarkably well.
Lisheen Castle went to chase home Clive Cox’s 91-rated Connect in a Listed event at Pontefract; runner-up Ayutthaya landed the odds for Kevin Ryan next time at Chester; and the well-beaten fourth Unwritten came out to romp home by nine lengths at Pontefract.
Hopefully, I’m Improving will settle better as stamina will come into play down the long Redcar straight.
NORDIC COMBINED (2.15) has run into some good end-of-season form and Brian Ellison’s quirky stayer is worth risking in the 1m 6f handicap.
He landed a Class 4 handicap at Haydock and was beaten on the nod on a return to the Lancashire track four weeks later.
Nordic Combined really should have won that day as he pricked his ears and idled in front, before depositing his rider shortly after the winning post. Cheek-pieces are on today and this represents a drop in grade. Soft ground would be ideal.
VENGEUR DE GUYE (3.50) may have been under-rated in the early betting market for the two-mile handicap chase at Ayr.
Lucinda Russell’s quirky eight-year-old has been called a few names in the past but following a string of second places last winter he has been found an easier assignment.
Those runner-up efforts came at Newcastle, Sandown and Kelso, and possibly his best run came at the Borders track when chasing home the 124-rated Morning Royalty.
Rose Dobbin has made a bright start to the new season and Minella Suite is a big danger. The bottom weight has failed to complete on his last two starts when sent off favourite and this small field should help Minella Suite find a jumping rhythm.
Halcyon Days improved 30lb for Rebecca Menzies after winning off a 83 basement mark at Ayr last October and he has plenty of proven form on deep ground.
Craiganboy won on heavy at Ayr in February, picking off his rivals late.
GLINGERSIDE (2.40) makes his chasing debut and Mike Smith’s gelding has plenty of form around Ayr over hurdles on soft/heavy.
Following a switch from Nicky Richards, Glingerside beat Fattsota here in January and did well to split Progress Drive and King Of Fashion in a novices’ hurdle in March.
Henry Morshead is a 7lb claimer to follow this season and the betting should tell us if Glingerside is ready to go on his comeback run.