Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)
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Major Dundee: Now 10-1 for Scottish National
Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)
Alan King won the Coral Scottish Grand National (3.35) with an improving seven in 2013 and the similarly profiled Major Dundee continues to attract interest as the main market driver in the competition Saturday.
Novice Godsmejudge’s 2013 victory remains the only big handicap success for Scottish-born King, but Major Dundee continues to draw support and are now 17-2 (down from 12-1) with Sky Bet to continue a beautiful season.
He won novice handicap pursuits at Fakenham and Bangor before finishing a strong second at Newbury last month and is fantasizing again despite picking up 3lbs for that latest effort.
Sky Bet’s Michael Shinners said: “Major Dundee are 12-1 to 17-2 and are certainly the strongest in the Scottish National. Elsewhere, Do Your Job were well supported for the 3.00 rated Novice pursuit. He is now 7-4 from 5-2.”
The National’s main Irish fantasy, Stormy Judge, is now battling for patronage, with some companies shortening to 13-2 (from 7-1). Pat Fahy’s raider now leads the market in most books with Kitty’s Light.
Barrichello is another notable attractive support, this time in the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle. He is typically 11-2 (down from 7-1) to score a hat-trick after successes at Warwick and Newcastle.
Ayr’s ground is good to soft, good in places after 2mm of rain after yesterday’s race and Ayr’s race director Graeme Anderson expects the pursuit track to be “a bit sticky” before the 4m marathon competition.
Speaking on Saturday morning, he said: “We’re good to mild, good in spots. We had 2mm of rain last night so we’re pretty much back to where we started yesterday. Ground is working quite similar and the boys said it was good to soft then.
Today’s Ayr Race Card
“It might be a bit sticky on the chase course, but we’re expecting a dry day with some sunny spells. It won’t be hot though as it will probably only be 10C.”
Ayr will welcome spectators back to their marquee for the first time since 2019. The game was canceled in 2020 and last year played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A sold-out crowd of 15,000 is expected to be in Ayr.
Anderson added: “It’s fantastic and to see it again and after spending two years with nobody, it’s really great. Even yesterday it was busy and there was a real atmosphere around the place.
“We’ve heard people cheering and celebrating the big winners and that makes a big difference. We have some really good horses on display today and it looks like it’s going to be a competition day.”
Good, good at soft ground forces 14 at Newbury
There are 18 non-runners at Newbury – the other track with ITV coverage on Saturday – where all is well, good to mild in places.
14 of those knocked out on the seven-race card are due to ground, with five missing in today’s UK EBF BetVictor Tier 2 race to help ukraine.uk “NH” Mares ‘Novices’ Hurdle (2.45 ).
Newbury race director Keith Ottesen said: “We did a lot. We prepared very safe ground on the easy side during the week. Before Wednesday’s statements, for Friday Mick Fitzgerald called and said how nice it was on soft ground.
“We did a little more [watering] Thursday before the race, then after the race yesterday, so if people don’t want to race on that, that’s their prerogative. Lots of horses are doing their last races of the season, so people are paying attention.
2.25: Barrichello 11-2 (from 7-1)
3:00 p.m.: Do your job 7-4 (from 15-8)
3:35 p.m.: Major Dundee 9-1 (from 12-1)
5:15 p.m.: Call me Harry 3-1 (from 4-1)
1h15: 7 Coach Carter, 9 days in Dubai
1h50: 6 departures
2.25: 9 Kihava
3:35 p.m.: 10 Rues Du Doyen
4.10: 3 Elvis Mail, 6 Aurora Thunder
4.45: 2 Donna’s Doubles, 3 Skatmans, 10 Platinumcards
1.00: 1 Storm Hill, 7 Inca De Lafayette, 12 Doublethetrouble
1.35: 1 Surrey Quest, 6 Punctuation, 8 Pearly Island, 9 Icon of Aubrelle
2.10: 4 La Cavsa Nostra, 7 Another emotion
2.45: 1 Speech Bubble, 6 Corey’s Courage, 9 Marsh Wren, 10 Walk In Clover, 14 Lady Tremaine
3:20 p.m.: 2 Mr. Lecoq
4:30 p.m.: 2 Bubble Dubi, 4 Scotch On Da Rocks, 8 Sea Village
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 9:26 AM, APRIL 2, 2022