Thursday Races: Get on early gambles and enjoy Ayr play…

The first day of Ayr’s famous Western meeting sees a raft of competitive handicaps on some properly soft Scottish ground.

We will be patient in waiting for our bet of the day in the closing 5f handicap (1720 BST).  Suwaan will prefer this to Beverley if turning out a day after a disappointing run, whilst Grandads World might prefer better ground.  The first time blinkers look eye-catching for Granny Roz, but we suspect that will just set the race up for the low drawn numbers.

The one we really like is Oriental Lily.  Jim Goldie’s 3yo filly is a maiden after 7 runs, having not seen the racetrack til late April.  Despite that she has shown decent form in four handicap runs and is weighted to finish about level with Granny Roz on Doncaster running.

What could make all the difference though is the soft ground.  Oriental Lily is a daughter of Goldie’s cracking sprinter Orientor, a real mud lark, and her running style to date – staying on late – suggests these testing conditions should suit her well.  She can track the pace from a low draw and spring a surprise now that she sees the mud for the first time.

The ground could also be key to a revival of form for Buonarotti (1545).  Last summer he cruised to a very easy win here on soft ground off a mark of 81 and was subsequently placed off a mark of 90.  It has been a poor time since, but he showed some signs of life on soft ground at Doncaster a few runs back, and he has now dropped all the way back to just 69.

Trainer Declan Carroll has been hitting the scoreboard after a quiet early season, and the added 3lb claim of Phil Dennis can only help.

A busy day can start with another soft ground performer in Gerry The Glover (1410) who sneaks in near bottom weight with the added claim of the useful apprentice Ben Robinson.

Brian Ellison’s yard has been struggling for top form but have started banging in the winners and Gerry has won off a 4lb higher rating on soft ground, was third at this meeting off an 11lb higher mark two years ago, and stayed on really well for third after missing the break on the all-weather last time signalling a return to his best.

We expect a mighty gamble on one, two or all three of these, so will be grabbing the best Wednesday evening prices in advance of what could be a right punt.

Recommendations:

Gerry The Glover, (1410 Ayr), 1pt win, 7/1 generally available

Buonarottie, (1545 Ayr), 1pt win,  7/1 Skybet

Oriental Lily, (1720 Ayr), 2pts win, 14/1 Bet365

All three, 0.5pt each way treble, approx. 780/1 !!

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