• Fri 22 Sep, 2017
  • 05:41 BST
  • 01:41 EST (BST-4)
  • 07:41 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with seven to follow on Saturday at Ayr and Newbury. View selections below

After three wonderful days at Aintree for the Grand National all eyes turn to Ayr for the Scottish equivalent and a maximum field of 30 going forward for this afternoon’s race, and BetVictor betting the race to five places for each way punters. Last year’s winner Vicente (10/1 with BetVictor) is one of three representing Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls but I expect northern trainers to dominate with Sue Smith double-handed with the pair of Vintage Clouds and Blakemount both over-priced at 14/1 and 50s respectively with BetVictor.

Nicholls stablemate Arpege D’Alene (8/1 joint-favourite) has been much stronger in the market than last year’s winner Vicente, and it will be fascinating to see how the market reacts to today’s forecast good-to-soft ground. Arpege D’Alene, like other joint-favourite Premier Bond for Nicky Henderson, was last seen running in the NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and a win for any of the Seven Barrows inmates Premier Bond (8/1), Sugar Baron (14/1) and Leesonsinmilan (28/1) would surely seal just his 4th NH Trainers Title.

Scottish National prices from BetVictor

Premier Bond                    8/1

Arpege D’Alene                8/1

Vicente                                10/1

Southfield Royale             12/1

16/1 Bar

Each Way ¼ 1-2-3-4-5

Nevertheless, Vintage Clouds (3.55) has long been held in some regard by trainer Sue Smith and, despite being a maiden from six starts over fences, can hopefully make it 7th time lucky under regular partner Danny Cook.

Cook passed the 50 winners for the season milestone earlier in the week and must go close aboard Delusionsofgrandeur (1.40) in the opener. The selection followed-up his impressive defeat of Vintage Clouds earlier in the season at Catterick when  bolting-up by 47 lengths last time out at Wetherby and could be chucked-in from a potentially lucrative opening mark of 136.

It should be a good day for Danny Cook but it could be an even better day for Bryan Hughes with the leading rider in the north legged-up on the pair of Cloudy Dream (2.10) and  Double W’s (3.20) for the in-form yard of Malcolm Jefferson.

Hughes admitted he hit the front too soon when finishing second behind Flying Angel in the G! Manifesto Novices’ Chase and should be able to reverse the form with Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Flying Angel. The son of Cloudings has finished second on his last four starts and gets one last chance to prove he isn’t as ‘soft’ as some made out last time out at Aintree.

Double W’s went one better than Cloudy Dream at Aintree, bolting-up in the Red Rum and can defy a 6lb rise at the weights to hopefully complete doubles for Messrs Jefferson and Hughes. The selection thrived for the return to both better ground and the return to the minimum trip to land the £$0,000 pot for connections last time out and looks a graded animal in waiting.

Another horse that looks sure to win a big pot before long is Alan King’s Winter Escape (2.45) who has a leading chance in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. He disappointing when a beaten favourite in the Greatwood Hurdle at the BetVictor Open Meeting but looked an unlucky loser in last month’s County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and remain open to further improvement from a mark of 141.

There are two excellent Guineas trials at Newbury with Dream Castle (3.05) unopposable in the colts’ classic trial after a superb reappearance last time out at Doncaster. The well-bred son of Frankel showed a sparkling turn of foot to put away a competitive looking field on Town Moor and has already been well-backed for the opening classic of the 2017 season; 16/1 from 25s with BetVictor.

Providing she stays today’s 7f trip then I’m quite keen on Queen Kindly (2.30) in the Fred Darling Stakes for those of the fairer sex. Another from Frankel’s first crop, the dogs were barking about her before she set foot on a racecourse and was backed into prohibitive odds when making a winning debut at Catterick last term.

She disappointed in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot but bounced back on her preferred fast ground in the Lowther Stakes at York and should have conditions to suit under regular partner Jamie Spencer. The Richard Fahey-trained filly is 20/1 with BetVictor for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, with her sire Frankel 4/1 from 5s to sire a British classic winner this season.

For all your racing odds this weekend check out BetVictor.com – new customers can claim Bet £10 Get £30 free

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