We head north of the border in a momentous day for Scotland to try and scoop the placepot at the opening day of Ayr's biggest meeting...
"Spirit of Zeb was last seen in the ultra-competitive Super Sprint at Newbury so should be more than up to making an impact in a race of this nature..."
13:40 - We kick off proceedings with a novice stakes over a mile and a sole selection will suffice in the shape of Farham. He ticks all the boxes on paper given his pedigree and price tag, and shaped well when runner-up on his debut at Sandown to boot. With further improvement on the cards he is a banker to progress through the first leg.
14:10 - We remain with juvenile action for a six-furlong maiden up next and it's another sole selection in the shape of Spirit of Zeb, who looks capable of capitalising on his return to calmer waters. He was last seen in the ultra-competitive Super Sprint at Newbury so should be more than up to making an impact in a race of this nature, and is taken to do exactly that.
14:40 - The big field sprint handicap which follows looks a fairly competitive one, something of a theme at this particular meeting, and narrow preference is first given to Hazelrigg. He tasted success in a higher class than this at last year's meeting and should run well as long as he's on a 'going day'. The other to make the cut is Rise To Glory, who has been in terrific form of late with three wins in his last four outings and can continue his excellent string of efforts here, although there are plenty of dangers.
15:10 - It's another competitive handicap under consideration next, this time over a mile and it's hard to ignore Almuheet. He belatedly took another step forward for Brian Ellison when narrowly denied at Recar recently and looks sure to figure off an unchanged mark if in the same mood. Mujazif was clearly amiss when pulling up at Ripon in August and a chance is taken on him returning to his best, as on form that would see him in with an excellent chance.
15:40 - You've guessed it - it's another large-field handicap which looks to be a tightly-knit affair, this time over seven furlongs. Despite the fact that Old Man Clegg should be kept on side in the hope that he can replicate his Newcastle victory (he only shoulders a 4 lb rise) backing a horse with political connections at a Scottish track seems the right thing to do today somehow. The other to get the nod is Kung Hei Fat Choy who looks leniently treated on his all-weather exploits in the hope he's more adept this time at converting that form to turf.
16:10 - Providing the perm is still alive at this stage two horses are selected to carry our hopes to victory in the second division of the 15:40. The first of those is Almanack who has the services of Graham Lee to aid him and try and deliver the hold-up ride that he requires to be seen at his best. He's 7 lb lower and in a weaker race than when failing to fire at Lingfield recently so should run well. Derbyshire is the other to make the cut after his recent victory at Wolverhampton which looked decisive enough to suggest he can shoulder a 6 lb rise to put in another bold bid here.
13:40 - 3
14:10 - 3
14:40 - 1,5
15:10 - 1,6
15:40 - 7,12
15:10 - 6,11
= 16 Lines