ROYAL CONNOISSEUR has a fine chance at Ayr when he rocks up for a seven-furlong handicap today.

Richard Fahey's representative has not won since October 2016, but he served notice at Musselburgh on May 4 that his time is near.

Royal Connoisseur finished fourth to Sureyoutoldme in a fair seven-furlong handicap, but it was the manner in which he came home that will have pleased the Malton trainer, pictured, more than anything.

The gelded son of Art Connoisseur ran on promisingly and yet he has been relieved 1lb by the assessor.

That means he is now 12lb lower than when he last visited the winner's enclosure.

And though a bit of cut in the ground would not have gone amiss, there are definitely races like this to be won with him off his current mark.

Verandah bombed at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago but compensation can be sweet and satisfying when she runs at Nottingham today.

John Gosden's filly was sent off an odds-on chance on her seasonal debut at Dunstall Park, but she only ended up beating one horse home.

Verandah did not look entirely straightforward at Wolverhampton - she made a slow start and hung right inside the final furlong - but she at least was hardly defeated out of sight.

Perhaps in need of the run on her first spin for 256 days, the daughter of Medicean was a length and three-quarters behind Adjutant at the line.

Verandah is clearly not without talent, too, as memories of her run in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood last summer, when fifth behind Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook, should not be easily forgotten.

Verandah must carry top weight in this seven-furlong fillies' handicap and it is interesting that she has been equipped with a first-time tongue-tie, which might keep her mind more focused on the job in hand.

Should that be the case, she might well take some hauling back.

Bid Adieu can save the best until last at Chepstow.

The four-year-old gelding has shown promise since his transfer to Richard Hughes' yard and looks a likely challenger for top honours in the concluding mile-and-a-half handicap.

Bid Adieu has only had two starts following his arrival from Venetia Wiliams' stable and he seemed to enjoy himself at Windsor last time.

The son of Pour Moi finished fifth in a mile-and-a-quarter handicap, but he was only beaten a length and three-quarters.

He was also denied a clean run inside the final furlong before staying on nicely at the death.

It will be interesting to see how he gets on stepping back up in trip, while the fast ground should also hold no terrors.


AYR: 2.00 Sugar Coating, 2.35 Gone With The Wind, 3.05 Rebel State, 3.35 Royal Connoisseur, 4.10 Masham Star, 4.45 Red Pike, 5.15 Zihaam, 5.45 Luv U Whatever.

CHEPSTOW: 2.10 Summer Blossom, 2.45 Bombshell Bay, 3.15 Give Em A Clump, 3.45 Satchville Flyer, 4.20 Iconic Belle, 4.55 Kings Inn, 5.25 Bid Adieu.

HEXHAM: 6.00 Slade Storm, 6.30 Sleep In First, 7.00 Andhaar, 7.30 Royal Mandate, 8.00 Card Game, 8.30 Robins Legend, 9.00 Russiantom.

HUNTINGDON: 5.40 Hatcher, 6.10 Stuccodor, 6.40 Lucky Jim, 7.10 Whatthebutlersaw, 7.40 Charlie Papa Lima, 8.10 Marvellous Monty, 8.40 Barrafohona.

NOTTINGHAM: 1.50 Daarik, 2.20 Infrastructure, 2.55 Austin Powers, 3.25 VERANDAH (NAP), 4.00 Double Reflection, 4.35 Navajo Star, 5.05 Bustam.

SLIGO: 5.50 Case Stated, 6.20 Luzum, 6.50 Gentil J, 7.20 Eadbhard, 7.50 Boom Or Bush, 8.20 A Smooth Criminal, 8.50 Indie Groove.

DOUBLE: Verandah and Bid Adieu.