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Ayr Preview: Chidswell can collect on hurdling debut

Chidswell makes his eagerly awaited hurdling debut in the 1.20 at Ayr today and is strongly fancied to make it a winning one.

The Nicky Richards trained gelding created a huge impression on racecourse debut when landing a bumper at Newcastle last November in determined fashion.

After being held-up well off the pace, the five-year-old travelled strongly into the contest approaching the home straight and kept on well to get up an beat Degooch by 1/2 a length despite looking badly in need of the experience.

There was plenty to like about the way Chidswell knuckled down to the task, and the runner-up has since gone on to develop into a useful sort rated 120 over hurdles and 117 over fences.

In the circumstances it was a most pleasing effort given that Degooch had the benefit of previous experience having run three times in point-to-points, and one which suggested that Chidswell had a huge engine and the potential to make up into a very smart hurdler.

The son of Goldwell should relish today’s 2m 4f trip, and I fully expect hom to prove too strong for main market rival Ballybroker Breeze and take this before going on to much better things.

In the 3m handicap hurdle (3.20), Maggie Blue looks decent value to take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the spoils.

The Harriet Graham trained mare was last successful in a 3m handicap hurdle at Newcastle last November when pulling clear from three out to win easing down by nine lengths off a mark of 86.

The handicapper reacted by hitting Maggie Blue with an 11lb for that facile success, and the daughter of Beneficial put in a solid effort off her revised mark of 97 to finish third at Carlisle.

Since then the six-year-old has failed to trouble the judge in six subsequent starts, but that has resulted in her handicap mark falling dramatically.

Maggie Blue now gets into this contest off 87, just 1lb higher than when last successful, and that gives her a huge shout at the weights.

Another plus is that Maggie Blue has run well in the past after a break, and with Callum Bewley’s claim taking another 7lb offer her back everything looks in place for a big run.

Selections:
1.20: Chidswell (NAP)
1.50: Hurricane Hollow
2.20: Prosecco
2.50: Everylasting
3.20: Maggie Blue (NB)
3.50: Rowdy Rocher
4.20: Boa Island