Ayr Preview: Hat-trick beckons for Scrafton
Scrafton looks one step ahead of the handicapper and a worthy favourite to complete the hat-trick in the 1m 7f contest at Ayr today (3.15).
The James Bethell trained gelding didn’t show much in three maiden runs, but his form has taken off since going handicapping and being stepped up in trip.
The son of Leporello landed a bit of a touch when getting up close home to beat Wor Lass in a class 6 contest at Newcastle over 2m off an opening mark of 53, and then followed up off 7lb higher in a class 4 contest at Catterick over 1m 6f.
On each occasion Scrafton was produced late to win with more in hand than the winning margin suggests, making it difficult for the assessor to know exactly how much was left in the tank.
To me there was plenty, and a further 6lb rise looks on the lenient side for a horse that is on a serious upward curve.
The drop back to class 5 company will also help Scrafton overcome the extra weight, and the three-year-old looks to have been superbly placed by his handler to notch another success.
Llandanwg put in a much improved effort last time out and could well have got in lightly on her handicap debut in the 7f contest (3.50).
The Bryan Smart trained filly weakened late on to finish a 5 3/4 length third to Abbotsfield at Newcastle after making good headway from the rear to have every chance approaching the final furlong.
The winner was officially rated 65, the runner-up 62 and the fourth home Aphrilis 60.
Considering Llandanwg finished five lengths in front of Aphrilis, it makes the daughter of Lawman looks potentially very well-treated in this low-grade class 6 contest off an opening mark of just 46.
In the 7f handicap (4.25), trainer Robin Bastiman looks to have found a glorious opening for Secret City to land a second success of the season.
The gelding too advantage of a drop in the weights to get back to winning ways over course and distance back in July when staying on strongly to score going away by 2 3/4 lengths.
Although Secret City then disappointed next time up at Catterick, the eight-year-old bounced back to form when fourth of 16 at Newcastle earlier in the month and a repeat of that effort should be good enough to land what is an extremely weak looking contest.
2.10: Auld Fyffee
3.15: Scrafton (NAP)
3.50: Llandanwg (NB)
4.25: Secret City
5.00: Exotic Guest
5.30: True Pleasure
6.00: Jersey Brown