Ayr preview: Bearskin weighted to cut a dash
Bearskin can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 6f handicap on today’s eight-race card at Ayr (15.05).
The Anne Duffield trained gelding was a dual winner over the trip last season, with the last of those successes coming at Hamilton off a mark of 61.
Bearskin went on to finish runner-up off 67 and, although the son of Kodiac has not been at his best in four starts so far this season, his mark has fallen as a result.
The four-year-old is now able to race off 6lb lower than when last victorious, and that gives Bearskin major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.
It’s also interesting that Bearskin was heavily backed last time out when sent off favourite and finishing a creditable seventh at Thirsk, as it suggests connections believe he is now weighted to strike.
Another plus is that Bearskin handles a cut in the ground, and everything points to a big run.
In the 1m 5f handicap (16.35), Love Marmalade looks decent value to land the spoils now eased in grade.
The Alistair Whillans trained gelding was last successful in a class 5 handicap at Musselburgh 14 months ago off a mark of 75, and has since run well to be placed on two occasions in class 4 contests.
They include a solid length second at Musselburgh three starts back, and Love Marmalade is now able to race off a rating of 74.
It makes the five-year-old well treated on the pick of his form, especially now dropped back down to the grade in which he was last victorious.
Go Far has slipped to a dangerous mark, and looks a lively outsider in the 5f handicap (17.05).
The Alan Bailey trained gelding was in good form last summer, landing a class 3 contest at Doncaster off 88 before following up in a class 2 affair at Wolverhampton off 94.
Go Far also ran a stormer in the ultra-competitive Portland Handicap at Doncaster when a 3 1/2 length sixth of 20 to Muthmir off 101, and is now able to race in this class 3 contest off just 88.
That is 6lb lower than when last successful and gives the son of Dutch Art major claims at the weights, if bouncing back to anything like his best.
14.35: Opt Out
15.05: Bearskin (NAP)
15.35: Harwoods Volante
16.05: Hail Bold Chief
16.35: Love Marmalade (NB)
17.05: Go Far
17.35: Dark Crystal