Teaplanter has a number of bets on a busy day of Saturday racing including Forest Bihan in the opener at Ayr.
Ayr 1.25: Forest Bihan
I am hoping the decision of trainer Brian Ellison to withdraw Forest Bihan at the eleventh hour at Aintree last week due to heavy rain, reaps immediate dividends as this looks a very viable alternative for the 8yo especially with the good ground certain to remain today.
A wind op in the summer looks to have had a positive effect, even though he has yet to win this season. A solid third in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham showed promise in November. However I believe he will be seen to best effect in big field handicaps like this. He cruised to the front at Doncaster on fast ground in January, but was in front too soon and was caught close home. Hopefully Danny Cook can be a little more patient and find a bit more cover here. He ran a fine race at the Festival to be fourth in the Grand Annual and he ought to be seen to even greater effect off the same mark with quicker going and a flatter track to aid his proven pace.
Ayr 2.25 Verdana Blue
Verdana Blue has had a brilliant season, highlighted by a Grade 1 win over Buveur D’Air at Kempton. She is all about speed and almost won a listed race on the flat at Kempton. Although she flopped in this race last season, this fast track should be ideal and she ran a fine race to be fifth in the Champion itself at Cheltenham when the ground went against her on the day. 7Lb claimer Connor Brace gets the chance to show what a good jockey he should be in years to come, thus reducing the burden of the mare.
Ayr 3.35: Geronimo
Each-way punters might be best served by Geronimo. Lightly raced he bids to give Scottish trainer Sandy Thomson a winner in his country’s most prestigious race. He has surely been laid out for this as he has been carefully campaigned this season. He won over 3m3f here despite idling in front. This lazy type does hold something back for himself, but that means he is a perfect type for this marathon trip and he remains lowly rated. He seems to handle good ground well.
0.75pts each-way – Forest Bihan – 1.25 Ayr – 9/1 general
0.75pts each-way – Verdana Blue – 2.25 Ayr at 6/1 with Bet365 (1/4 odds first 3 places)
0.5pts each-way – Geronimo – 3.35 Ayr at 14/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power (each way first 6 places)