Soldier Of Love can battle to victory in the Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (4pm) at Ayr on Sunday afternoon.
After Rachael Blackmore’s historic win aboard Minella Times in the Randox Grand National at Aintree Racecourse last weekend Soldier Of Love can take the Scottish version this week, which is being run on Sunday due to the Duke Of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday.
Paul Nicholls’ eight-year-old may have been pulled up on his most recent start at Cheltenham back in November but he has some decent form in the bank and looks to have been kept fresh for this race.
Nicholls’ Ditcheat stable won this first with Belmont King in 1997 and has also taken two of the last four runnings with dual scorer Vincente in 2016 and 2017.
Soldier Of Love was only beaten seven lengths at Cheltenham in October behind Galvin, who went on to score at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
He won four of his first five chase starts and looks the progressive type which has done well in this race.
His only blemish was that latest start but that was on soft going and the likely good ground should help him get back on track.
Like many in the race he has yet to be tested over this extreme distance of 4m1f. But he has won over 3m2f twice to suggest this step up in trip should be well in his compass.
Like any Grand National there are plenty who hold solid chances of victory.
Harriet Graham’s Aye Right has run some fine races in defeat this season and would be a deserving winner. But he keeps going up the handicap despite not winning and must shoulder second top weight of 11st11lb. The eight-year-old is bound to go close but may find one or two better handicapped horses get in front of him.
Others who may close are the Michael Scudamore-trained Some Chaos, Sandy Thomson’s Dingo Dollar and Chapel Stile from the Nicky Richards’ stable.
Jockey Harry Skelton continues to chase a first jockeys’ title and his brother Dan’s Calico may give him another winner in the Grade Two Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle (A Limited Handicap) (GBB Race) (2.25pm).
The five-year-old has won two of his three starts over fences and although this is a step up in class, he can continue on an upward curve with another victory.
The Skeltons have several big chances of victory up at Ayr and Allmankind may provide another success in the Grade Two Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) (3pm).
The five-year-old had no answer to the super Shishkin at Cheltenham, finishing fourth in the Arkle Chase, and bypassed another clash with Nicky Henderson's star at Aintree last week.
But there is nothing in this four-runner contest of that ability and Allmankind can resume winning ways.
The Skelton-trained King D’Argent may start up a potential treble for the brothers with victory in the opener at Ayr, the Listed Scotty Brand Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (1.15pm).
Nicky Richards’ course winner Marown may also score in the CPMS Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (1.50pm). While stablemate Wetlands can win the Ayrshire Hospice Land O’Burns Starlight Walk Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (4.10pm); and Floating Rock can take the Coral “Fail To Finish” Free Bets “Hands & Heels” Finale Handicap Hurdle (Conditionals/Amateurs’) (4.45pm).
On the Flat at Newbury Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Deja, with Ryan Moore in the saddle, can win the Group Three Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (Registered As The John Porter Stakes) (2.10pm).
The Andrew Balding-trained Alcohol Free can land the Group Three Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Registered As The Fred Darling Stakes) (2.45pm).
The three-year-old won two of her three starts last season, including the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes.
She can take the next step to a crack at the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas by landing this seven-furlong contest on her return to action.
Chindit can also book his ticket to next month’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas with victory in the Group Three Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes (3.20pm).
Richard Hannon’s three-year-old disappointed on his final start as a juvenile when down the field in the Dewhurst Stakes last October.
The son of Wootton Bassett had won three in a row before that including at Group Two level over this trip at Doncaster.
Whether he can win the 2,000 Guineas is another matter, but he can at least get in the line-up and resume winning ways on his return to action.
Brian Meehan’s Raeeq – a winner of three of his six starts so far – can go in again in the MansionBet Spring Cup Handicap (3.55pm).
On Saturday racing sees Thirsk as the main meeting now and Motakhayyel can win the ebfstallions.com Michael Foster Conditions Stakes (2.10pm).
Hannon’s five-year-old won the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot and also the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket’s July Meeting.
His form tailed off towards the end of last season, but after his winter break he can resume his progress and winning ways in this seven-furlong contest.
Kevin Ryan’s Throne Hall can land another win in the JW 4x4 Northallerton Handicap (1.40pm).
The four-year-old ran out a nice winner of a 1m2f handicap when the Flat season started at Doncaster last month.
He looks to be progressing nicely and may score again.
The Tracey Waggott-trained Ghathanfar may also score in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap (1.10pm). While others who may triumph at Thirsk are Roger Varian’s Invincible Swagger in the Thirsk Races Live Stream On RacingTV Extra Novice Stakes (2.40pm) and Brian Rothwell’s Outofthegloom may be able to land a first victory on her 12th career start in the Follow ThirskRaces On Twitter For Ticketing News Handicap (Div 2) (12.40pm).
1.15pm King D’Argent
3.35pm Soldier Of Love (NAP)
4.45pm Floating Rock
2.45pm Alcohol Free
4.30pm Into The Fire
5.05pm Spirit Dancer
11.10am Liv Lucky
11.40am Riffaa Wonder
12.40pm Outofthegloom (NAP)
1.40pm Throne Hall
2.40pm Invincible Swagger
11.25am Brother Pat
11.55am Shady Character
12.25pm Crooks Peak
12.55pm Bird On The Wire
1.25pm Dog Of War
2.25pm Bob’s Bar
4.55pm Dusky Prince
5.30pm Recall The Show
6pm Blame Culture
7.30pm Rhyme Scheme
5.45pm Red Glory
6.15pm Hundred Isles
7.15pm It Must Be Faith