With conditions at Ayr likely to be grim, we're taking a long trip south to Newbury for today's Placepot...
"The claims of Novirak are obvious, too obvious for our purposes in fact, and there’s sufficient opposition in this handicap to leave him out..."
13:25 - The trio of Homage, Caramak and Vallarta dominate the betting in this maiden, with debutant Correspondent (a close relative to Delegator) the only other given a single-figure quote at the time of writing. Vallarta has the best form, recorded over this trip, but given his pedigree there are concerns over him stepping back to six furlongs and therefore we'll include the other two mentioned; Homage in particular looks one that could go far.
14:00 - Not as strong a division as the first, but that may work in our favour as it leaves Grand Denial with leading claims. He was second in a decent race over C&D on his debut and shaped a good deal better than the result when fifth at Kempton over a longer trip last time. He's likely to stay at least seven furlongs in time, but six should prove at least as suitable for the time being and he probably rates as a banker for the first three assuming all goes to plan.
14:30 - The claims of Novirak are obvious, too obvious for our purposes in fact, and there's sufficient opposition in this handicap to leave him out. Although competitive, this would probably rank as a marginally lesser race than the type Rawaki has been competing in of late, his failure by less than a length to beat Enery (has won again since) at Kempton last time out no disgrace whatsoever. With only five runs to his name thus far, it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to foresee further improvement, either.
Our second choice, Purification, is a bit more speculative, but he's just too big a price to ignore at the time of writing. He's probably not altogether straightforward, but had been sufficiently straightened out by blinkers to run creditably three times in a row before putting in an excusable effort (raced alone far side) at Newmarket last time. He stays further, but is effective at this trip, and would be nice little result if he could make the first three for us.
15:05 - High-level conditions races are all too often a pitfall for punters, but at least in this instance we have a field of eight to allow us maximum breathing space. Grandeur is probably the likeliest winner, but that's more than reflected in his price and, at least where we're concerned, Boom And Bust looks a better proposition. Generally progressive over the last two seasons, the only poor run Boom And Bust has recorded in recent times was in the Hunt Cup, when he was returning from almost a year off and drawn on the unfavoured side. There's nothing to suggest that he won't stay this extra furlong, either. For a bit of insurance, we're going to throw in Fury, who has more ability than his price would imply and has excuses for failing to perform last time.
15:40 - The last two races both contain odds-on favourites, and it's the first of them that looks to be the better opportunity to attack. That's not to crab market leader Wentworth, who's looked pretty good so far and managed to overcome trouble in running last time, but with Altruism (ready winner of a Newmarket maiden last time) and Chief Havoc (multiple Group entrant who shaped with significant promise on his debut) in opposition, we can offer to take a cut at him in hope of an upset.
16:15 - Given the above, there are no prizes for guessing that we afford hot favourite Lanansaak plenty of respect in this fillies' race. Typically well-bred for one with her connections, Lanansaak made a big impression on her debut at Salisbury, both before the race (well backed) and during, leading inside the final two furlongs and seeing things out strongly. She's in next week's Fillies' Mile, that trip sure to see her to even better effect, but we'd be surprised if she wasn't to win this in the meantime.
13:25 - 2, 6
14:00 - 4
14:30 - 3, 5
15:05 - 3, 5
15:40 - 1, 5
16:15 - 1
= 16 lines