One of the outsiders appeals to Seymour Biz, in the Spring Cup at Newbury on Saturday.
This weekend we can look forward to a great Scottish meeting in the sunshine that is promised at Ayr, a fabulous seaside course that is a really friendly place to go. This is their big weekend of the year and the red carpet will be rolled out for all the visitors that attend including the television cameras. The highlight of course, is the Scottish National, but the rest of Saturday’s card also has some thrilling races to look forward to including a two mile Listed Chase, a three mile novice chase, with some top novices involved and of course the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Some great young horses in the latter, and the whole day should be a great spectacle. The cameras also turn their attention to a top class flat meeting at Newbury with the John Porter, Fred Darling and Greenham Stakes, but I will run my eye over the Spring Cup to try and find some value in this one mile dash.
We start at Ayr at 1.45 The Scotty Brand Handicap Chase, a Class 1 race, with some top class two mile chasers, several of whom will want the ground to dry out noticeably. Theinval is at the top of the betting, Nicky Henderson’s gelding has not been in the winners enclosure this season, he came close at Aintree last weekend and that run may have taken something out of him. I look toward the Nicky Richards’s Duke Of Navan who won this race in 2015, the horse has had his injuries and was off racing for over eighteen months. He has raced promisingly this season finally winning a good race at Doncaster in January, he has gone up in the weights for that win and is on the same handicap as he was when winning this. Rock On Rocky has two wins under his belt but this is a big step up in class. Vaniteux has a squeak here, last years winner has not won this season and ran poorly at Cheltenham but on better going is handicapped to run well, however I look to Duke Of Navan to take this.
The 2.20 is the Dawn Homes Novices Championship Handicap Chase, a solid three miler, Barney Dwan has run really well this year but I am afraid he won’t get the ground he wants for this. Alan King’s speedy Dingo Dollar looks to have a great chance here, he has won his last two at Doncaster and Newbury. He did not run at Cheltenham in the Ultima because of the ground but can come here on better going and take this. Baden was behind him on both his wins, and will probably have to settle for something similar here. Ron’s Dream is a course and distance winner and won well at Haydock three weeks ago, Peter Bowen’s charge can put in a good run. A big outsider is Kayf Blanco for Graeme McPherson, he has been in the first three in his last six outings without winning, he can run into a place here.
So we come to the big one, the Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase at 4.05, Vicente is going for his third win in a row in this race and so write his name in the history books. He has three pounds less to carry than last year and is still only a nine year old, he pulled up at Cheltenham last time four out, he was not given a hard race as his connections had this in mind I consider he has every chance. To try to spoil the party Anthony Mullins sends Glancairn View over from Ireland, he won easily at Navan last time in March after skipping Cheltenham and has a lightweight to carry. Ballyoptic has a chance on his form at Wetherby in February, he was then sent to Cheltenham but was unable to make the frame, he will be ready for this. Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds has had a break since Cheltenham in preparation for this contest where the grey was in front of Beware The Bear, he can stamp that authority but may need it softer to take this. Vicente for the treble!
Down to Newbury for the Elite Racing Club Supporting Greatwood Spring Cup at 3.45, this is a one mile dash down the straight course at Newbury and we have some top milers in attendance. Afaak is favourite on the back of his two victories last summer and his good second to Addeybb at Newmarket, he will be spot on for this. However looking for better value I like the look of Tony Curtis, he ran strongly at Goodwood in August when second to Master The World staying on to the very end. Mitchum Swagger ran well in the Lincoln, finishing in front of several rivals he will face here and can make the frame here. At a bigger price and down the handicap is High Acclaim who won at Doncaster in March at the Lincoln meeting,however this is a big step up in class for him. I will also mention Hors De Combat who won at Meydan last time beating Another Touch, however I don’t think he will get the ground he wants to take this.
Saturday Lucky 15
1.45 Ayr. Duke Of Navan
2.20 Ayr. Dingo Dollar
4.05 Ayr. Vicente
3.45 Newbury. Tony Curtis
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