The Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase at 3.35 is the undoubted feature of today’s televised racing from Ayr and Newbury, with a field of 23 due to line up.

Christian Williams supplies two of the first three in the betting, viz Kitty’s Light and the Eider Chase winner Win My Wings and both must have a decent chance.

However, if there is one trainer who wants to win this race during his lifetime, it’s Sandy Thomson and, in The Ferry Master, he has a cracking chance of so doing.  

Third in the race last year, by dint of good placing, TFM can compete off 5lbs lower this afternoon, has benefited from wind surgery, completed an excellent prep run and shone in an ‘away-day’ gallop round Kelso.

So what’s not to like?

Nothing, so back it each way at 11-1.

In a race of this nature it’s a good idea to have a couple of back up selections, so we also suggest each way bets on History Of Fashion and One More Fleurie, both at 18-1.

Coverage starts with the Scotty Brand Handicap Chase at 1.15 and we confess we can’t work this one out, so we are no bet.

The CPMS Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase at 1.50 has Nicky Henderson‘s Dusart installed as 2-1 favourite after the horse’s fifth in the Brown Advisory at the Festival, but we doubt this one can win off a mark of 147.

We prefer an each way bash on Ben Case‘s runner, The Golden Rebel, which is available at 7-1.

This dual Point winner steps up to 3 miles for the first time under rules and has the ‘improver’ profile that we like.

The Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle at 2.25 sees Milkwood attempt the double but may have trouble holding off last year’s runner-up Anna Bunina, which is 11lbs better off from last year. John McConnel‘s mare looks worth an each way bet at 11-2.

We also recommend an each way bet on Alqamar, from Jimmy Moffat‘s yard. This 91 rated Flat horse has not been seen since going rump over mammary at Wetherby in October, but probably would have completed a five-timer at the expense of no less than Tommy’s Oscar and is still on a good mark. Take the 11-1 on offer.

Prelude to the ‘big ‘un’ is the Future Champion Novices’ Chase at 3.00 and the runners don’t really live up to the race title.

Bets of the five may be Do Your Job, which improved to win a handicap last time out off a mark of 140 and that rating should be good enough to take this.

A win bet at 7-4 is recommended.

The meeting at Newbury has seen a raft of non-runners as the ground dries out, threatening to ruin what was originally a great card.

The BetVictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at 1.35 has been reduced to just six runners but Bridget Andrews’ mount Frere D’Armes is still an each way price at 6-1 so that’s what we’ll do.

The Veterans Handicap Chase at 2.10 is down to the dead eight as we write, but, with hope springing eternal, we venture a careful each way bet on Bermeo at 9-2. In doing so, we rely on the magic of Harry Fry, for whom this 11-y-o makes its debut after leaving Tim Vaughan.

The Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at 2.45 has suffered from 5 NRs, but with 11 still declared, we can still go each way on our pick, which is Gentle Connections, from the Skelton operation.

Out of the handicap proper but with Tristan Durrell‘s claim taking care of that, this very lightly raced 5-y-o looks well handicapped and should be backed at 16-1.

Hasta la vista.


The Ferry Master 3.35 Ayr 1.5pts e/w @ 11-1 (7 places bet365/Skybet)

History Of Fashion 3.35 Ayr 1pt e/w @ 18-1 (7 places bet365/Skybet)

One More Fleurie 3.35 Ayr 1pt e/w @ 18-1 (7 places bet365/Skybet)

The Golden Rebel 1.50 Ayr 1pt e/w @ 7-1

Anna Bunina 2.25 Ayr 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2

Alqamar 2.25 Ayr 1pt e/w @ 11-1

Do Your Job 3.00 Ayr 2pts win @ 7-4

Frere D’Armes 1.35 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (2 places)

Bermeo 2.10 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 9-2 (4 places Skybet/Hills)

Gentle Connections 2.45 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (4 places)

Scroll to Top