I will be on the 5.30 am train from London Euston heading up to Ayr on Thursday for three days punting on the big-field handicaps.
Over the years, I have usually managed to find one at a price to at least cover expenses. I am optimistic of doing the same but it can be a long afternoon if the winners don’t arrive.
I am pretty sure Keith Dalgleish, who had three winners at Musselburgh on Sunday, will be in the thick of things and I am relying on him for a good start.
4.45 Ayr: Platinumcard at 7-1 with William Hill
This is an interesting horse as he has won four races this season despite not seeming to have the race run to suit him ideally on each occasion. As a consequence, I believe he can be given more credit than the handicapper has done.
He has overcome slow-pace affairs to record his wins but I believe he will be much better suited by a competitive event such as this where there are several who want to go from the front.
The handicapper has been unusually kind in dropping him 4lb for a good effort over too far last time. He gets on well with Billy Garrity. so the only issue is if he is up to this grade.
5.18 Ayr: Rory at 11-2 with William Hill
There are several sprinters on a roll in this but Rory looks the one who might have most improvement in him.
He has already won twice this season under Paul Mulrennan - including over course and distance - and improved when a well-backed favourite to win by two lengths at Musselburgh last time, when he had a subsequent winner behind.
He will not be getting into a battle for the early lead and that could also serve him well in a race where several of the fancied runners want to be on the speed.
5.50 Ayr: Le Magnifique at 18-1 with William Hill
Is certainly not living up to his name since he joined the Dalgleish yard but he has tumbled 15lb in the weights since the spring and now reappears after a wind operation with a tongue-tie attached.
The headgear he has worn on his past three starts is dispensed with and he is running over a considerably longer trip, which looks very likely to suit.
He has won over hurdles for the yard and was thought good enough to run in a Listed contest in that sphere. He jumped poorly but stayed on well enough at the finish.
He last ran off 119 over hurdles and was third over a trip that was too short. He runs off 54 here.
It is asking a lot for all these moons to align but I am pretty sure the market will speak in his favour if a revival in his fortunes is expected. I will be watching closely.
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