Good to soft ground at Ayr for today’s sole jumps meeting which begins with a novice hurdle over the minimum trip.
Lebowski sets the standard having won well at Ffos Las on his hurdles debut, but he must give 7lbs to Sauce Of Life (12.30) who lost his unbeaten record when second on his hurdles debut in a slowly run race at Wetherby earlier in the month.
The selection – 7/4 from 7/2 with Boylesports – won both his Bumpers on good and good to soft and would be unproven on soft ground whereas Lebowski would not be inconvenienced if conditions deteriorate but I just favour the Nicky Richards trained 6-y-old in receipt of the weight.
Operation Overlord (2.10) is surely capable of defying an opening mark of 112 if he learns to settle although that is a big if given his run at Carlisle on his reappearance. Lucinda Russell did us a favour courtesy of the outstanding Ahoy Senor at Newbury on Saturday and her stable was hit by snow on Sunday.
The hope is that this lightly raced 6-y-old – 2s from 5/2 at MansionBet – can get to the track. Owned by JP McManus he is bred to be better than a mark of 112. The top-weight Mayo Star carries 12st 3lbs, but he has dropped to a decent mark, and I will be keeping a close eye on him with the future in mind.
One of the most interesting horses on the card is Cadeyrn who has not been seen since winning a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter back in March 2018 although he was ready to run at Wetherby in a 3m chase back in the spring but was taken out on account of the prevailing fast ground.
My two against the field, however, are the winning pointer Sunset West and Buzz De Turcoing (2.45) with the latter getting the vote in what promises to be a most informative event. Sunset West has not seen the track since finishing third at Doncaster back in January and promises to be well served by the step up to three miles.
Buzz De Turcoing – 9/4 from 4s with William Hill – travels up from the midlands for Sam Drinkwater in search of a bit of soft ground for his heavy ground hurdles winner at Haydock back in December. The selection jumped well when runner up at Wetherby on his chase debut although that form took a knock when the winner was beaten a furlong behind Ahoy Senor up in class at the weekend. A fortunate winner between the flags in Ireland the 7-y-old is James Bowen’s sole ride at the meeting.
I am looking forward to seeing Bashosh (2.25) drop back to a mile at Kempton the trip at which he scored at Doncaster in the summer. The selection – 6/4 with 10Bet – is a brother of Group 1 winner Nezwaah and faces largely out of sorts rivals this afternoon although the lack of a confirmed front runner is a concern. I wonder if Andrea Atzeni will go forward himself from his inside stall.
There is a valuable fillies handicap at Wolverhampton which sees both Pomelo (6.00) and A’Asari return to the track for the first time since they were both bogged down on heavy ground in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot back in June.
The filly was a good winner over today’s C&D as a juvenile having looked a potential star when winning her maiden on debut at Newbury by 5L. She has obviously had her problems in the interim period and was taken out of a race at Goodwood in July on account of the soft ground. She remains open to further improvement after just four career starts. The filly is 10/3 from 4s with MansionBet.