ON an extremely low-grade Monday card at Ayr, NODDYOLDER (2.20) catches the eye dropped into handicap company by Tim Easterby.
The well-named son of Slade Power was noted making late headway into fifth over behind Chairmanic over six furlongs at Haydock. That was a much stronger contest and it would be no surprise to see Noddyolder attracting market support over this extra furlong. Ventura Rascal ran well enough at Doncaster when third to La Trinidad to merit consideration.
The top-rated horse in the Classified Stakes has an official mark of 50 which tells everything you need to know about the standard of this mile event. ROYAL COUNTESS (2.50) ran right away with a 1m 2f handicap here last Monday and she will take a deal of beating if handling the drop in trip and quicker ground. She was having her first run for Mike Smith, who has also declared Flying Moon, a gutsy winner at Hamilton yesterday.
Travel Lightly recovered from a poor break to score at Thirsk last week and has to be on the shortlist.
PENMELLYN (3.20) takes on less challenging opponents on the back of his fourth to easy winner Dawaaween at Hamilton and the assessor has dropped him 2lbs. Likely favourite is Sir Mark Prescott’s Le Reveur, penalised for a Chepstow success three days ago. He was under the pump at halfway and going nowhere before responding so well that he drew clear through the final furlong. The visor may have helped but his style of racing isn’t good for the nerves.
The concluding event is the seventh Class 6 handicap on the card, this time over 1m 5f. Mick Appleby’s Strict, blinkered first time, was narrowly denied at Thirsk last week and that probably puts down a very modest marker. LIZZIE LOCH (3.50) attracted support at Musselburgh and that confidence wasn’t misplaced as she ran a brave race in defeat.