THOMMO casts his eye over the card at the first day of the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr to bring you a tip for every race.
GALVIN, sporting the Ronnie Bartlett colours carried so prominently last Saturday by Rathvinden in the Grand National, can get favourite backers off to a flying start on Ayr’s Friday card. Galvin was an unbeaten five from five for Gordon Elliott until travelling to Cheltenham last month and wasn’t disgraced in finishing sixth to City Island and subsequent impressive Aintree winner Champ in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Getaway Trump, fourth to Champ in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December, was a disappointment at Kelso last time but would have a leading chance on earlier form.
DEYRANN DE CARJAC was runner-up in a novice hurdle on this card 12 months ago and has been second-best at Chepstow, Market Rasen and Huntingdon this season. The Alan King-trained gelding was an easy winner at Warwick last May on good ground and is the type to go well fresh.
MYPLACEATMIDNIGHT represents a bit of value against likely warm favourite Rhythm Is A Dancer, a winner at Ludlow last time. Myplaceatmidnight won with authority at Plumpton last month over 2m 4f and Neil King clearly believes he will stay this extra distance.
GOLD PRESENT is capable of defying top weight in the Hillhouse Quarry Chase, a Listed contest over 2m 4f. Nicky Henderson’s gelding made a fine return to action at Ascot when third to Politologue and Charbel but flopped in the soft next time. Gold Present will appreciate this slight ease in grade. Born Survivor’s fourth to Aso in the BetBright Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day puts him in the mix along with Monbeg River, second here to Forest Des Aigles in November. Forest Des Aigles was still travelling strongly when suffering an injury in the Topham Chase at Aintree won by Cadmium, so that form looks quite strong.
NIVEN is a tentative selection in a tricky-six-runner novices’ handicap chase. The ex-Irish geldinmg has run consistently well on three starts for Phil Kirby.
YEATS BABY scored with plenty in hand at Musselburgh and the Irish raider looks the one to beat in the three-mile mares’ handicap hurdle.
FOLLOW THE BEAR has fallen a couple of times, including on his last start at Cheltenham, but is better than his form figures would indicate. The top weight goes on any ground. Elliott and Russell team up with favourite From Eden but he doesn’t look particularly well handicapped.
12:00 Pontefract - Race: 1
12:10 Windsor - Race: 1
12:20 Hexham - Race: 1