On your marks, get set with Walford
Back Floating Rock @ 11/2 in the 16:45 at Ayr
Trainer Mark Walford enjoyed a spectacular day at my beloved Hexham earlier in the week with three winners and one for the column (that seems a long time ago now), and his golden run can hopefully continue with Floating Rock.
He won this very race last year from a mark of 119 and looked a well-treated horse. The time was reasonable and the most eye-catching aspect of his performance was the way he shifted gears from the far side into the turn and went past three horses in the blink of an eye.
From then on it was protracted battle with Glentruan down the long straight, and in truth, Floating Rock's jumping was better and tacking over to the stands' rail was a help rather than a hindrance as the front two pulled 28L clear of the remainder.
He then was turned out quickly in a 0-145 at Sandown behind the 144-rated Scaramanga, and a replication of that run should see him go close for this as he's fit from a recent spin on the Flat. Amateur Paddy Barlow gets to claim too, so his mark is nicely in line from last year and Barlow has been seeking a first winner this term with several near misses of late.
Drying ground and good to soft underfoot will be optimum.
Wave can find some magic and build on fine Donny debut
Back Magic Wave @ 3/1 in the 17:15 at Ayr
It's bumper time again for me and a couple of well-bred types in this race are on my list. Idem for Lucinda Russell is one, as a relation to Vieux Lion Rouge, but Magic Wave is another Walford runner on the card, so hopefully we can catch the stable right again today.
I liked his debut at Doncaster at the beginning of March as it had everything I want from a debutant. He was green, outpaced and picked up second - which means he gets to run again without a penalty against a couple in line-up who have already won and have to concede weight.
It looked a good race on paper at Donny, as the winner on debut for Nigel Twiston-Davies called Spring Meadow was well backed in the market, and as an expensive son of Fame And Glory, he looked decent. As befits a horse related to Denman and Whisky Yankee.
However, Magic Wave ran a cracker, and he didn't quite have the pace for Doncaster as they can race flat out there.
I can envisage the long straight at Ayr playing to his strengths, and he'll be more clued up this time. His time figure was okay too from Doncaster and with the yard winning a bumper with a similar type earlier in the week, he can add to the Walford numbers.
*click here for more previews and betting news ahead of the Scottish Grand National
March single bet winners:
Merry Mistress 13/8 Won
Ruby Island 5/2 Won
Bandinelli 11/8 Won
Skontonovski 10/1 Won
Very Excellent 9/1 Won
Banbridge 12/1 Won
Love Envoi 10/1 Won
Lady Alavesa placed 16/1
Merry Secret placed 5/1
Tyche placed 8/1
Gin Coco 9/4 Won
Epsom Faithfull 10/3 Won
Weveallbeencaught 7/2 Won
Red Showgirl placed 9/1