13:30- Karl Burke has enjoyed tremendous success with his juveniles this term and Lostock Hall looks likely to give a good account in the opener at Ayr. Lostock Hall doesn't appear to be one of his yard's most exciting prospects but he took a big step forward when finishing third at Newcastle last month, and he shaped as if he hasn't yet reached the ceiling of his ability. With three places on offer and some devilishly-tricky handicaps to tackle later on the card, we will bank on Lostock Hall.
14:05- Son of Africa quickly bounced back from a disappointing effort when winning at Goodwood, posting an impressive timefigure in the process, and a 6 lb rise for that success could well prove to be lenient. Son of Africa looks like a useful prospect and could prove to be better than this level, so he is the first horse that we will turn to. This is competitive stuff, though, so Honeysuckle Lil also makes the permutation. Tim Easterby's filly had failed to justify strong market support at Ripon, but she gave a much clearer reflection of her ability at Newcastle, getting off the mark in ultimately convincing fashion having still looked a little green when initially asked to win her race. She steps into nursery company on a fair mark and has obvious claims.
14:40- Richard Fahey is always a man to be respected in these big-field sprint handicaps and his representatives Gatepost and Polski Max could be the pair to keep on side in this ultra-competitive contest. Gatepost is without a win this season but he has bounced back to form recently, finishing runner-up over seven furlongs on his two most recent outings, and the drop back to six furlongs in a fiercely-run race is likely to suit. Polski Max is also without a win this year, but he has dropped to a very tempting mark as a consequence and produced his best effort of the campaign when finishing fourth at Ripon last time. Softer conditions would be ideal, but there is still enough in Polski Max's favour to merit inclusion. We've taken one low and one from the middle, so we will also have one from the high draws with Mishaal. Mishaal usually runs over further than this, but he proved himself fully effective as a sprinter when finishing third at Haydock and ought to give a good account, his potent blend of speed and stamina an asset in a race of this nature.
15:10- Pea Shooter's overall profile isn't the most convincing but he has hit form recently, finishing runner-up the last twice, and has shaped as if he is ready to win off his current mark, the way he travels really taking the eye. Pea Shooter is an obvious inclusion in this vein of form, though the main downside could be his draw (stall 3) if the runners congregate by the stand side rail, so he is joined by stable companion Imperial Legend who finished runner-up in this contest last year from a higher mark.
15:45- Squats only won narrowly at Ascot but he made up an enormous amount of ground, doing well to get up in the circumstances, and he looks well worth a try at this level. It really was impressive how well Squats quickened at Ascot, surging late on, and the fast time backs up the view that it was a useful performance. He is capable of progressing further and ought to go very close.
16:20- Nafaath deserves credit for the consistency that he's shown this season, beaten less than a length into second on his last two outings, and he looks to have a race in him off this mark. Nafaath is likely to continue in form and appeals as a good type to have on side in a Placepot. We will also include Longshadow as he has been in excellent heart and is a thorough stayer who should be keeping on when others have cried enough.
14:05- 2, 10
14:40- 7, 9, 20
15:10- 7, 10
16:20- 5, 8
= 24 lines
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