There's a good national hunt card at Ayr this afternoon, and that's where we head for Friday's attempt at the Placepot...
Spartan Angel's evidently on a fair mark and should go extremely close here...
13:25- There are some useful types in this novices' hurdle, but the obvious starting point is with the Nicky Henderson-trained Different Gravey as he's made a good impression this season and sets the standard based on his win at Huntingdon last time. There's plenty more to come from Different Gravey and he should be right in the mix. Fascino Rustico has his stamina to prove, but he represents a yard in tremendous form at present and shouldn't be overlooked.
14:00- Work In Progress looked held when falling at the last at Sandown in February, but he had gone through much of the race like a well-handicapped horse, and the return to less-testing conditions will suit. He looks to hold leading claims and ought to go close.
14:30- This is a competitive handicap and we'll need to keep a few onside in order to progress. Shanroe Santos made little impression when fast-tracked to Grade 1 company at the Cheltenham Festival, but he had created a good impression prior to that, winning well at Ludlow and Musselburgh. There could yet be more to come and it wouldn't be a shock were he to bounce back. Racing Europe is another novice who looks to hold strong claims, his latest second at Kelso marking him down as a well-treated horse, and he too should be included in the Placepot permutation. As this is such a competitive contest we'll add a third string to our bow in the shape of the AP McCoy-ridden Capard King. Capard King couldn't complete the hat-trick at Warwick last time, but he did run well in a decent race and should be on the premises again.
15:05- Shadows Lengthen was better than ever when finishing a keeping-on third on his return from a three-month break at Newcastle in March and he looks sure to give his supporters another good run for their money off the same mark. He's joined in the permutation by prolific winner Presenting Junior who faces his stiffest task yet but can't be dismissed, such is the rapid strides he's made this season.
15:35- Pair of Jacks was in the process of bettering his debut effort over fences when unseating two out at Catterick in December, and there should be plenty more to come from Malcolm Jefferson's unexposed chaser. Plus Jamais got off the mark at the fourth time of asking over fences here last month. He'll need to show more to feature in this better race from a 9 lb higher mark, but he really did win in good style and has to be respected.
16:10- Dual bumper winner Spartan Angel has taken well to hurdling and she ran a cracker in an ultra-competitive renewal of the mares' finale at Newbury last time, simply unable to deal with a pair of unexposed rivals. She's evidently on a fair mark and should go extremely close here.
13:25- 1, 2
14:30- 1, 4, 10
15:05- 7, 12
15:35- 3, 5
= 24 lines