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North Yorkshire's King Of The Danes set for regal reign at Ayr racecourse
North Yorkshire’s long-distance traveller King Of The Danes, winner of his last two races at Ascot and Goodwood, heads in the opposite direction to Scotland tomorrow to bid for a hat-trick on the opening day of the eagerly-awaited Ayr Western Meeting.
Trained at Middleham by Mark Johnston, King Of The Danes looks a fast-improving three-year-old. His latest success in Sussex was gained by an emphatic six lengths for which the handicapper has raised him a hefty 12lb.
It may prove that such a hike up the ratings will prove a barrier to King Of The Danes, but it may also be argued that there looks to be more to come from him. I tend to sway to towards the latter and expect him to prove hard to beat in the £25,000 William Hill-Download The App Handicap.
Richard Fahey, whose Baccarat is the ante-post favourite for Saturday’s William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, can get the meeting off to a good start courtesy of Roachdale House in the EBF/Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors Novice Stakes.
The twice-raced juvenile fulfilled the promise of his debut effort when winning at Newcastle last month over seven furlongs. This step up to a mile should suit him even better.
Fahey has other sound chances on the card, not least with Chiswick Bey, who has returned to his yard after a couple of years away, in the second division of the Quality And Value At Irish Yearling Sales Handicap.
Narrowly beaten at Beverley last time out, Chiswick Bey may not be the horse he once was, but he is extremely well handicapped and the rain-softened ground will be very much in his favour.
Underfoot conditions will also be right up the street of No Poppy in the Hillhouse Quarry Group Supporting Ayrshire Hospice Handicap.
Tim Easterby’s five-year-old has run some good races in defeat this season and gets on well with regular rider Adam Carter. She has plenty going for her and earns the nap vote.
At Pontefract, the £15,000 Pontefract Park Fillies’ Handicap could well be a repeat of last year with Misplaced Fortune going for back-to-back wins in the six-furlong event.
Nigel Tinkler’s mare goes well on this course, was a decent fifth at Ripon last time out and is teamed-up with a useful 7lb claimer in Kevin Stott. She has every chance of resuming winning ways.
The long-distance handicap sees Kodicil and Petella, first and second at Ripon three weeks ago, locking horns once more.
Supporters of Kodicil are entitled to be hopeful of a repeat, but Tim Walford’s charge got the run of the race that day under an excellent front-running ride and it may be that Petella, a winner over this course and distance, can turn the tables with Connor Beasley again claiming a valuable 5lb.
Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani has double prospects with Ajman Bridge (3.30), winner of his only start at Kempton last December, and a fascinating runner, and Vermont (5.00), who has shaped well in both his starts to date.
1.40 Roachdale House, 2.10 Mocacha, 2.40 Captain Scooby, 3.10 Spes Nostra, 3.40 Chiswick Bey, 4.10 No Poppy (NAP), 4.40 King Of The Danes, 5.10 Vittachi.
2.30 Omaha Gold, 3.00 Frozen Over, 3.30 Ajman Bridge, 4.00 Misplaced Fortune, 4.30 Petella, 5.00 Vermont, 5.30 Satanic Beat, 6.00 Flighty Clarets.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Yarmouth and Kempton.
Today’s meetings: Sandown, Beverley, Yarmouth and Kempton.
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