The Scottish Grand National at Ayr is a fabulous day of jumps horse racing this Sunday as the season draws to a close. With the Scottish Champion Hurdle and other top-class races on the supporting card, there is plenty to get stuck into. Here are the fancies of Horsebetting.com experts.
Ayr betting tips – King D’Argent can reign in opener
Kicking the Scottish Grand National card and our Ayr betting tips off is King D’Argent in the Scotty Brand Handicap Chase, a Listed contest over an extended 2m (13:15). Trained by Dan Skelton, this novice has youth on his side. That is more than can be said for the majority of his rivals here.
A six-year-old by Kendargent, he is three from four since going over fences. The one blemish on the chase record of King D’Argent was a fall at Newbury, but he quickly bounced back from that by winning an All-Weather bumper at Newcastle. Although then beaten in a similar contest at Lingfield, King D’Argent has since scored twice in chases.
He is finally showing the promise of his earlier career. King D’Argent ran fourth in the 2019 Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival, so has always had ability. He has also been by and large smartly placed this season by Skelton, whose brother Harry could be champion jockey.
If the siblings are to realise that dream, then King D’Argent should be winning this. He defied a 10lb rise from his Southwell romp and followed-up back at Warwick. This horse is on a serious upward curve and may take some stopping despite a further 9lb hike. In receipt of 1lb from his main market rival, King D’Argent appeals at 9/4 with Betfair in this.
Marown solid each-way value in Novices’ Champion
Next in our Ayr betting tips is Marown in the 3m Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase (13:50). Trained by Nicky Richards for Trevor Hemmings, this seven-year-old Milan gelding has won two of his five outings over fences. Marown also brings fine course figures of 1131 to the table. He likes it at this venue, then.
After winning a couple of hurdle races here, connections sent Marown chasing this season. He learned plenty from his first outing over the larger obstacles here when third to Elvis Mail. Stepping Marown up in trip has been key. As he beat subsequent Hereford winner Port Of Mars comfortably in December, he was well worth a crack at graded company.
Marown was far from disgraced when runner-up to Silver Hallmark in the Altcar at Haydock in Janaury. He filled the same spot when back in handicaps there and trying to give 8lb to Galahad Quest. The winner landed a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham earlier in his career.
Connections again stepped Marown up in trip at Wetherby last time out. He got the measure of previous Grade 2 winner Messire Des Obeaux that day. As he handled better ground just fine then, Marown could easily defy a welter burden here and is 7/1 with Betfair, who pay four places.
Scottish Champion Hurdle betting tips – Tommy’s Oscar the value bet
Tommy’s Oscar is another solid each-way bet for the extended 2m Grade 2 Scottish Champion Hurdle (14:25). Trained by Ann Hamilton and owned by husband Ian, this ex-Irish pointer has been a revelation for his modest stable this term.
Tommy’s Oscar hit a hat-trick earlier in the campaign, winning at Sedgefield, Newcastle and Musselburgh. While he is a stone higher in the weights now than when clinching that treble, he ran into some very well-handicapped sorts in the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on his penultimate start.
Although only sixth that day, Tommy’s Oscar has since advertised the form by scoring at that track last time out. The winner, The Shunter, went on to Cheltenham Festival glory. Faivoir, back in third, has gone in twice since. That gives the form a solid look.
A race like the Scottish Champion Hurdle has many in with chances. The likes of Paul Nicholls pair Thyme White and Diego Du Charmil, and Milkwood command respect. Calico is very light on experience for the Skeltons, though, and didn’t hurdle fluently when eye-balled on his penultimate outing. Tommy’s Oscar is the each-way play here at 8/1 with bet365, then.
Malystic overpriced for Future Champion Novices’ Chase
The keen going Allmankind is well clear on ratings for the extended 2m 4f Grade 2 Future Champion Novices’ Chase (15:00). Stepping up in trip off the back of a disappointing display at Cheltenham in the Arkle means he’s no value at the odds on offer. Instead, our Ayr betting tips say side with Malystic.
Trained by Peter Niven, this seven-year-old has better form than first meets the eye. Malystic steps up in trip as well and chased home Protektorat on his bow over fences at Carlisle. The winner has since made a return to form with victory over The Shunter in the Grade 1 Manifesto at Aintree last week.
Malystic then went one better at Wetherby and defied a welter burden to follow-up at Newcastle in handicap company. On that evidence, he is well worth a crack in this four-runner field. Even his neck third in a Newcastle jumpers’ bumper on the All-Weather behind Proschema reads well.
Again, the winner has recently advertised that form with an impressive victory at Cheltenham in midweek. Despite the presence of Tamaroc Du Mathan in the line-up, Malystic comes out 2lb ahead of that Nicholls runner on adjusted ratings. He is well worth considering, then at 5/1 with Unibet or at least in the without the favourite betting.
Scottish Grand National betting tips – Mighty Thunder heads shortlist
In the feature Grade 3 Scottish Grand National over 3m (15:35), Mighty Thunder heads the shortlist for a typically competitive renewal. Trained by Lucinda Russell, this eight-year-old has won three of his five chase outings including the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh.
Mighty Thunder then only found the rapidly progressing Time To Get Up too good in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter. Despite going up in the weights for that success, he gets the trip and still has plenty to offer. With six places available with some bookies, including odds of 14/1 with Betfred, Mighty Thunder appeals most.
Our Ayr betting tips also suggest you consider Eider Chase winner Sams Adventure. Again, stamina is no problem for the nine-year-old trained by Brian Ellison. Warwick’s Classic Chase scorer Notachance is also on the shortlist too, provided he has recovered from lameness at Haydock.
Market leader Aye Right commands respect too, but has only run well in defeat this season. That mean he has been nudged up the weights without winning. Chapel Stile could go well from those at bigger odds. There are concerns about Dingo Dollar getting the trip, so Sandy Thomson’s other runner The Ferry Master could be more interesting.
Wetlands could complete four-timer
In the extended 2m 5f handicap hurdle that follows the Scottish Grand National (16:10), Wetlands has plenty going for him. Also trained by Richards for Hemmings like Marown, this six-year-old has been smartly campaigned by connections. The son of Westerner was an eye-catching third on hurdles debut behind Do Your Job here.
As the winner has since finished second in Grade 2 and Grade 1 events, Wetlands always appealed as the type who would do better when stepped up in trip. He recorded a facile course win here on heavy ground, then followed-up at Newcastle over half-a-mile further.
Wetlands then completed the hat-trick with a romp at Carlisle. As he won at a canter despite giving weight all-round, beating the Imperial Cup favourite Karl Philippe, he proved he handled a sounder surface. Wetlands now makes his handicap debut off an unchanged rating of 132 after a 13-length success, so he must be well-treated.
Brian Hughes is also going for champion jockey honours. He will want to make his best opportunities in the final week before the end of the season count. Wetlands definitely fits into that bracket and is 11/4 with SportNation for the four-timer. The main danger could be Enemy Coast Ahead, but he has a fitness edge on that Olly Murphy trained rival.
Flemenstide the bumper bet
In the concluding bumper (17:20), Flemenstide is the last of our Ayr betting tips to follow-up. Trained by Nicholls, this six-year-old progressed from her racecourse debut when second to No Ordinary Joe to win at Exeter. The Flemensfirth gelding beat Top Of The Bill there, who has since finished a fine third to expensive purchase Jonbon at Newbury.
That one is definitely one to follow moving forward. JP McManus paid a pretty penny for Jonbon, a brother of Douvan. The fourth home, No Word Of A Lie, has since finished an unlucky head runner-up, so the form isn’t too shabby. No Ordinary Joe also ran fourth to subsequent Grade 1 scorer My Drogo at Ascot on his hurdles debut.
These form lines give Flemenstide obvious claims. Nicholls also puts daughter Megan on board with regular jockeys Harry Cobden and Bryony Frost both sidelined. She is a capable understudy, however, as evidenced by her win in a Grade 2 at Aintree on Grand National day last Saturday. Flemenstide can make his presence felt at 5/2 with bet365 here.