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Scottish Grand National Festival: Ayr gears up for Day One
The Trainers’ Championship is now heading towards a conclusion and with big money on the line, the two-day Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr Racecourse has assumed more in the way of importance. The undoubted highlight is the Scottish Grand National itself at 3:35pm on Saturday afternoon but there’s much more in the way of top quality racing action throughout the two days of the meeting.
In pole position in the Trainers’ Championship sits Paul Nicholls who is on his way to taking the title for the thirteenth time and he will be looking to Flic Ou Voyou to do the business in the feature race on Day One of the Festival – the Listed Quarry Handicap Chase which gets underway at 3:30pm.
The eight-year-old impressed when chasing home the handy Killer Kane at Sandown a few weeks ago and the race’s form has worked out extremely well in the meantime. Down at the foot of the weights, Nietzche is worth a mention. Brian Ellison is particularly adept at springing raids over the border to win big races and this gelding will be appreciating the prevailing going here.
Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls do battle in the opening race at 1:45pm with City Chief and Shearer respectively. The duo arrive into this contest off the back of victories and will need to give weight away to their opponents, the official handicapper having difficulty splitting the pair.
In the Valuable Mares at 4:05pm, Flower Of Scotland will perhaps be the best hope for the home team, the grey being reunited with Ryan Mania and carrying the colours of Raymond Anderson.