Ayr's Virgin Bet Raceday predictions: Headscarf Lil looking to go one better
- High Roller to win 1.35pm
- Headscarf Lil to win 2.10pm
- Captain Quint to win 2.45pm
- Traprain Law to win 3.20pm
- Donna's Double to win 3.55pm
- Glen Cannel to win 4.30pm
- Coniston George to win 5.05pm
The Virgin Bet Raceday is the first Saturday meeting of 2023 at Ayr and a strong card provides plenty of intrigue for jumps fans with Cheltenham looming large on Tuesday.
The seven-race card at the picturesque Scottish venue begins at 1.35pm and they race through until 5.05pm.
Our racing expert marks your card for the action at Ayr.
1.35pm - Virgin Bet Best Odds Daily Novices' Handicap Hurdle (2m)
Barnabas Collins is improving of late for Donald McCain and should net a first hurdles success before long but this is a deep field and HIGH ROLLER might be a potential improver on handicap bow for Neil Alexander.
His best run from three so far came over C&D in October and there are reasons to suspect he can improve now — namely a recent wind op, first time tongue-tie and drying ground.
LiveScore Seleciton: High Roller
2.10pm - Virgin Bet Daily Money Back Mares' Handicap Hurdle (2m5½f)
Catchmeifyoucan won well over three miles at Perth in the autumn and, while a drop back in trip is not a major concern here, her absence since that September success is more so and she might just need this.
Front-running mare On We Go on the other hand may be caught out dropped in trip and so HEADSCARF LIL is taken to come good after runner-up finishes in her last two starts. She is within 2lb of her previous win-mark and has a big part to play in this.
LiveScore Selection: Headscarf Lil
2.45pm - Virgin Bet Fives Handicap Chase (2m4½f)
Last time out winners Massini Man and Ardera Cross have not been missed by the handicapper and are 9lb and 8lb higher in the ratings now respectively.
They could still go well but CAPTAIN QUINT found just one too good at Carlisle over two miles last month and the combination of a rise in trip and drop in class leaves Rose Dobbin's charge in a nice spot.
LiveScore Selection: Captain Quint
3.20pm - Virgin Bet Cheltenham Festival Money Back Handicap Hurdle (2m)
Patrick Wadge is having quite the time of it lately, the 7lb claimer successful in each of his last three rides, all for the Lucinda Russell team. They combine again now with TRAPRAIN LAW in this two-mile handicap.
Since a wind op, he has posted figures of 212 at Kelso under this rider since December and his form in France suggests he will have no worries on this better surface. He looks on a fair mark going handicapping.
LiveScore Selection: Traprain Law
3.55pm - Virgin Bet Daily Extra Places Handicap Chase (3m)
Sandy Thomson is responsible for one of two seven-year-old's in the mix for this three-miler and DONNA'S DOUBLE could be the answer over last-time-out course winner Readysteadybeau.
The selection went off favourite in that race but may have had an excuse (lost a shoe) for a tame surrender. His previous January win here over shorter puts him in the mix and he can rebound.
LiveScore Selection: Donna's Double
4.30pm - Virgin Bet Daily Price Boosts Novices' Hurdle (2m4½f)
A trappy contest with three previous hurdles winners engaged. Frontrunning C&D winner Choosethenews was held at Wetherby in January and so GLEN CANNEL is preferred for Laura Morgan.
He, too, has won over track and trip and he did not disgrace himself in a stronger contest over three miles at Musselburgh last month when finishing third.
LiveScore Selection: Glen Cannel
5.05pm - Virgin Bet Open NH Flat Race (2m)
Raffles Wonder scored at Sedgefield in January, with the runner-up twice successful over hurdles since, and has to be respected despite carrying a penalty but CONISTON GEORGE was clear second at Haydock in late December in a stronger race than this and should improve for that experience, making Nicky Richards charge the one to beat.
LiveScore Selection: Coniston George