The first of three days of Ayr’s big Flat meeting of the year has a mile and a quarter handicap (15:00) worth £15,000+ to the winner as its most valuable race, with a field of ten declared.
This looks an open contest between some exposed handicappers but there’s no doubting that Painters Palette (104) comes here in top form for Rebecca Menzies. He’s improved into a useful sort since joining his current yard this year and recorded a third success of the year at Wolverhampton, and his fourth all told this season (also a winner at Redcar last month), a fortnight ago. Held up as usual, the likeable Painters Palette recorded his latest success at a Racing League fixture when beating Naxos by two and a quarter lengths under apprentice Frederick Larson, earning the ‘Sectional Timing’ flag, and the partnership is taken to follow up here.
Cockalorum (102) for Roger Fell & Sean Murray is another who was successful last time out. After a couple of wins at Ripon earlier in the season, he’d edged back down the weights before returning to winning form at Hamilton last month when gamely getting the better of Mr Professor by a head after regaining the lead from his idling rival and should go well again.
Auld Toon Loon (106) wasn’t at his best in an apprentice race at Sandown last time but he’s proving a reliable type overall for David O’Meara this term, winning at Lingfield and Chester over the summer, and looks set to give his running again here.
Mr Alan (104) makes a belated seasonal debut for ‘Hot Trainer’ George Boughey but can make his presence felt if fully tuned up for his in-form stable. As well as being a course winner at two, he was only beaten a nose in this contest last year from a 5 lb lower mark, earning the ‘Horses For Courses’ flag, before going on to win at Nottingham later in the autumn.
One of the veterans in the line-up What’s The Story (104) is another with the ‘Horses For Courses’ flag as a course-and-distance winner last summer. He’s holding his form well for Richard Fahey since his latest win at Carlisle in May for the now-retired Keith Dalgleish but he’s not the easiest to win with and was never a threat when a staying-on fourth to Koy Koy at Wolverhampton last time.
Another veteran Euchen Glen (103) heads the weights and has won four times at Ayr over the years for local trainer Jim Goldie. It’s a while since his last win, and while he ran poorly last time, he’d been in good heart prior to that, finishing fourth in the Ebor, so can’t be totally discounted dropping down in trip.
Stablemate Fools Rush In (105) is another on a losing run and has been racing mainly over six/seven furlongs this term but he ran one of his better races when a close fourth to Tosen Wish at Southwell last week over a mile and is well handicapped if seeing out another couple of furlongs here.
Stamina could be a doubt for Austrian Theory (103) and he needs to bounce back from some lesser efforts since winning over an extended mile at Epsom on Oaks day. Marie’s Diamond (98) is a course winner but hard to make a case for on current form, being another of those on a long losing run, and he finished in rear behind Painters Palette at Wolverhampton last time. Likewise, Thundering (103) has mainly been struggling for form this season for ‘Cold Trainer’ Kevin Ryan.
Timeform Analyst’s Verdict:
Painters Palette was better than ever when scoring at Wolverhampton a couple of weeks ago and he had something to spare, so he's worth a chance to follow up in an open race. Fellow last-time-out winner Cockalorum is a danger and another solid showing from Auld Toon Loon seems assured.
Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings:
106 Auld Toon Loon
105 Fools Rush In
104 Mr Alan
104 Painters Palette
104 What’s The Story
103 Austrian Theory
103 Euchen Glen
98 Marie’s Diamond
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