2.25 2m Grade 2 Scottish Champion Hurdle – Verdana Blue 5/1
Verdana Blue beat 7 time grade 1 winner stablemate Buveur D’air not only fair and square but did it very impressively with plenty more than the result says in hand, jockey Nico de Boinville sat almost motionless on the run in compared to Barry Geraghty’s drive on BD, she just got up on the line under hands and heels. She was well beat in the Champion Hurdle, but ridden way too cold in a weak pace by jockey Davy Russell and on surface she hates, she still finished a respectful 5th. She missed Aintree down to the ground becoming too soft, today she gets perfect conditions with mainly good ground with it further drying out, she handles pretty much any type of courses but she has recorded her best on flat sharp courses which is how Ayr will play out under today’s conditions, jockey Nico De Boinville takes over the reigns on stablemate Mister Fisher which leaves way for a handy 7lb claimer Connor Brace to take over and considering she was rated 157 after beating BD just 4 months ago, she runs off a very dangerous 147 today with claimer included.
2.40 7f Group 3 Greenham Stakes – Great Scot 9/2
Trainer Tom Dascombe is in terrific form this season and has already notched up 9 winners from 35 runners, a smart 26% strike rate, he had a nice winner at Newbury yesterday in the maiden fillies on just his only runner of the day and has a strong hand out today, he’s very bullish on the chances of Great Scot who has a 2000 Guineas entry and not without a chance at 50/1. Today thou will tell us a lot of how Great Scot has come on and matured through the winter, he was very head strong last season but had some good form to his name with a listed win at Haydock before a close 5th in the group 1 Futurity Stakes, he was awfully green and keen and with a lot to do he looked well beat, but he came with a powerful run which needs marking up a lot with his early excursions, he’ll love the underfoot conditions and if his matured well I’m predicting he’ll be a big force this season.
3.35 4m Grade 3 Scottish Grand National – Crosshue Boy 9/1
Unusual seeing Sean Doyle target this race and his gelding will absolutely love the drying ground, he won on this card last year beating Dingo Dollar on similar ground, he was significantly upped in trip to 3 miles over fences for the first time, which brought out a big career best and seen him finish the season in fine style with 4 wins to his name from 5 spins, he was raised 8lbs for his efforts but looks to have plenty more scope especially over staying distances, his mark looks to of been protected with runs over shorter hurdle distances this season and has dropped handily 2lbs, he did have a run in the Becher but with the soft ground against that can have a line through it, but today he’ll be fit, has the ground on side, looks on a good handicap mark.
Russell Blair Racing