Kevin Blake recommends a couple of bets for a quality card at Ayr including one that looks set to challenge for the Scottish Grand National...
"This type of race is clearly going to be her forte and a rise of 8lb is unlikely to be enough to stop her."
Win My Wings win Ayr 15:35 @ 10.09/1
The Grand National is only just around the corner - coming up next Saturday - but before then we have an excellent card of action at Ayr for their Scottish Grand National card to pick through this Saturday. With a bit of luck, we might be able to find a winner and top up our kitty prior to Aintree.
Back Milkwood to retain Champion Hurdle crown
The Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle (14:25) has attracted a fascinating field of runners and I think we might well see a repeat of last year with the Neil Mulholland-trained Milkwood looking to have very good prospects of retaining his crown.
The eight-year-old has put together a series of excellent runs in some of the most competitive handicap hurdles anywhere in the game. He finished a close third in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last year after hitting the front too soon and followed up with a very easy victory in this race last year.
He was then ambitiously targeted at the Galway Hurdle and, despite being badly in at the weights with his Irish rivals compared to if they had met in Britain, he ran a huge race to finish a never-nearer second after meeting with trouble in-running.
He was sent over fences after that, but was confined to one disappointing run back in October and now returns to hurdling at the scene of his biggest success. He has won when fresh in the past and an 8lb higher mark than what he won this off last year doesn't seem harsh. He looks to have a great chance.
Strong chance in the Scottish Grand National
The main event of the day is the Coral Scottish Grand National (15:35) and the one I like is the Christian Williams-trained Win My Wings.
The nine-year-old has only had seven runs over fences and had long shaped as though being worth a try at a marathon trip prior to getting her chance to do so in the Eider Chase at Newcastle last time.
She duly produced a much-improved performance to win in great style. She jumped and travelled with notable fluency and could be called the winner a long way from home. The biggest issue that Ryan Mania had was that she was travelling so well that she ended up in front too soon and idled throughout the closing stages.
This type of race is clearly going to be her forte and a rise of 8lb is unlikely to be enough to stop her. Conditions look ideal for her and she looks to have a very strong chance.