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Ayr preview: Apricot Sky weighted to deliver for Dandy

Apricot Sky shaped as if returning to form last time out and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 5f handicap on today’s seven-race card at Ayr (15.05).

The gelding was a three-time winner when trained by Henry Candy,and the last of those successes came off a mark of 80 over 5f at Haydock 10 months ago.

Apricot Sky got put up 7lb for that success, and has failed to trouble the judged in five starts this season since joining Dandy Nicholls.

However, that has resulted in the handicapper cutting the five-year-old plenty of slack and Apricot Sky is now able to race in off a career-low mark of 71.

That gives the son of Pastoral Pursuits major claims at the weights on the pick of his form, and Apricot Sky comes into the contest having hinted that his time was near when seventh of 18 to Harwoods Volante at York last month.

Apricot Sky showed plenty off pace to race at the head of affairs until weakening deep inside the last to be beaten 3 3/4 lengths.

It was a major step back in the right direction, and if building on it Apricot Sky looks weighted to take all the beating now dropped back to 5f.

In the 1m handicap (16.40), Homage can defy top-weight to land the spoils.

The gelding won first time up in 2013 when trained by Jeremy Noseda, and made a winning debut for current handler William Haggas at Windsor last June when easily beating Lord Of The Shadows by 2 1/2 lengths.

Homage went on to have just three starts, finishing a solid six length 10th of 31 to Bronze Angel in the ultra-competitive Cambridgeshire handicap at Newmarket before rounding off the campaign with a win at York.

The five-year-old came from off a strong pace in the latter to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths off a mark of 93, and looked the type who would have more to offer this season.

It’s fair to say that Homage then disappointed on seasonal reappearance when well beaten at York, but there more to like about his run last time out when fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time and staying on well to go down by 1 3/4 lengths to Big Baz at Nottingham.

That run suggests suggests Homage’s current mark of 98 is exploitable, and this looks a nice opportunity for the son of Acclamation to go one better.

Selections:
13.55: Ingleby Valley
14.30: Sea Of Green
15.05: Apricot Sky (NAP)
15.40: Cash Or Casualty
16.10: Yat Ding Yau
16.40: Homage (NB)
17.10: Vicky Valentine