LANARKSHIRE lad Alan King loves to target Ayr's Grand National fixture and he has prospects of an opening-day double with MAJOR DUNDEE (4.27) and DIDONATO (2.40).
A competitive three-mile handicap hurdle brings down the curtain on an excellent day's racing and although Major Dundee is lumbered with top weight, he is up only 2lb for his impressive Chepstow success on good ground.
King has high hopes for Didonato in the three-mile mares’ handicap hurdle. The six-year-old won nicely at Doncaster in November and returned from a 96-day break to pick up the winning thread again at Ludlow last month. Dan and Harry Skelton field recent Hereford scorer Global Harmony, still well enough treated off a 3lb higher mark, while title-chasing rival Brian Hughes has been booked for Irish challenger Lily’s Gem.
Skelton has a gilt-edged chance on lightly-raced DEFINING BATTLE (3.50), runner-up to Camprand at Taunton (pair clear). The winner travelled strongly before being outpointed close home by Rowland Ward at Aintree last week, so the form is rock-solid. Hughes has picked up the ride on Rose Dobbin’s Wetherby maiden hurdle winner Fete Champetre, while 2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle runner-up Dino Velvet, Theatre Legend and Torigni, third in the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh, all have leading claims in a cracker.