An Ayr Nap, Next Best and Each-Way from Timeform
Ayr Nap - 14:45 - Back Indian Louis
Lucinda Russell runs a couple in this handicap chase but Derek Fox's mount Indian Louis is the one to be with and has excellent claims of following up from a successful chasing debut at Musselburgh on New Year's Day.
A dual winner in points, Indian Louis showed just modest form over hurdles but he looked a natural in a novices' handicap on his first start over the larger obstacles, making all the running and proving a class apart from his rivals in the jumping department.
Having gone with zest in front, Indian Louis was closed down only late on and was value for more than his winning margin of a length over Divas Doyen.
Ayr Next Best - 14:15 - Back Fia Fuinidh
This sees a rematch from a meeting over the same course and distance last month between veteran course specialist Ardera Cross and Fia Fuinidh, with the latter fancied to turn the tables on last year's winner of this event.
Martin Todhunter's novice was a course winner over hurdles last season but he's a chaser on looks and has taken well to fences this year, finding only one too good on his last couple of starts.
Under a typically positive ride from his usual partner Sean Quinlan, Fia Fuinidh jumped well last time before going down by two lengths to Ardera Cross. Given a wind operation since, he can go one better this time with further improvement to come.
Ayr Each-Way - 15:55 - Back Shoeshine Boy
It looks worth forgiving Shoeshine Boy a poor run at Haydock in a conditionals' race last time as his efforts prior to that would give him solid each-way chances in this three-mile handicap hurdle.
He got off the mark for Donald Whillans over this course and distance a couple of seasons ago and was successful, again under today's rider Craig Nichol, at Carlisle last spring.
He returned in good form under the same jockey last autumn, finishing second at Hexham and Kelso, and should be thereabouts again with conditions to suit.