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The dreaded early bath on Saturday, softened by a place lay to cover stakes, but no fun there. Sunday is a day off for me each week, so we're back and recharged today, where I'm going to do something a bit daft, and play at Ayr.
Why daft? Well, mainly because four of the races are win only, and the other two only offer two places. Yes, poor Ayr has just 25 runners covering the six placepot races, at an average of 4.16 per race. Oh dear.
So, this could go very right or very wrong. My strategy is twofold:
1. Eliminate one horse in each of the win only races (and back it in a single later on if it's worth it)
2. Use pace as a core consideration, because it's easier to steal a race from the front when there's only two rivals behind!
With that in mind, here goes nothing...
2.00 - Leg 1: Three runners here in a seven furlong juvenile maiden. There is a Mark Johnston-trained and Joe Fanning-ridden favourite here, and he's odds on to win. I should think he's also odds on to lead. Fanning is an absolute master from the front, and I expect him to zip off, then slow it up, then quicken from the three pole, knowing that his horse will be very fit.
Against him is the sorcerer's apprentice in Keith Dalgleish, himself former stable jockey to Mark Johnston. But his horse is unraced and unfancied, whereas the third entry, Richard Fahey's Longton is vying for market leadership. Longton was ready on debut over this track and trip, but could only finish last of three there.
Stars Over The Sea is by... you guessed it... Sea The Stars, and his last run needs to be completely ignored as he reared in the stalls and completely missed the break. I think he'll probably win and am tempted to go banker... but I won't!
A - 3 (Longton), 4 (Stars Over The Sea)
2.30 - Leg 2: The worry here is that 'obvious' horse, West Leake Hare, normally likes a good gallop to run at. He won't get that here, with no obvious front runner. I suspect Silverware will take them along, and he's definitely got a better chance than 28/1 (Stan James). Hassled on the lead in two of his three recent turf starts, you can forget those. The run where he got a softer lead - last time - he ran a lot better than seventh of eight implies, and this drop back in trip could be ideal. I've backed him for a cheeky tenner at that price and he'll go on B here.
If there is a challenger for the lead it might well be another Johnston/Fanning runner in Strictly Ballroom. Lightly raced and a weak looking finisher, this might be one of the easier chances she gets. That said, she might prefer cut in the ground.
It's hard to leave West Leake Hare out, because he's the clear form horse currently, and Beckermet has a very good placed record in short fields.
I think the money for Chookie Avon is misplaced, but I might be wrong (again)!
A - 1 (West Leake Hare), 6 (Beckermet)
B - 2 (Barney McGrew), 4 (Silverware)
3.05 - Leg 3: Forrest Flyer is certain to get his way here, and could go trap to line under Graham Lee. Jockey bookings suggest he's first choice with a seven pound claimer riding class-rising Grand Diamond - the favourite here, surprisingly. Schmooze isn't out of it either.
This is tough, but I quite like FF for GL.
A - 1 (Forrest Flyer)
B - 4 (Grand Diamond), 2 (Schmooze)
3.40 - Leg 4: A wide open sprint handicap where pace is less of an issue because they'll probably just go at it from the start. I quite like Midnight Dynamo, though not enough for banker status. With him, I'll take Fitz Flyer with him. This chap has been running in better races and, while I'm not at all sure a small field is ideal for him, he has a class edge over these.
Bronze Beau has a decent record in small fields and is included too. If this goes win only, insure your position by backing those not covered!
A - 1 (Fitz Flyer), 3 (Midnight Dynamo), 4 (Bronze Beau)
4.15 - Leg 5: Win only here again, and this is a horrid little contest. Someone's Darling gets the weight, but she might not be able to make it count against more experienced rivals that could also get first run. Dancheur is the key in that context, and she - along with Sunny Side Up - make the ticket. Gulp.
A - 2 (Dancheur), 3 (Sunny Side Up)
4.45 - Leg 6: If we've managed to swerve and chicane ourselves this far, we'll have done well, and it might be a nice looking divvy that we're playing for. That being the case, we should probably back all of them. But I'm only going in with the two at the top of the market. This is simply because the dividend can be calculated by this point, and I can back the outsider, Bold Prediction, to 'green up'.
[To green up, follow these instructions:
Go to http://club.totesport.com/totepoolLiveInfo/Java/index.htm
Choose Ayr from the dropdown and placepot on the right hand side. Then multiply the total pool by 0.73 to get the net pool.
Add the number of units on most backed runner to 'fav' units. That's your worst case result.
Now divide that number by the net pool, and round down to the nearest 10p. That's the dividend to £1.
Work out how much of it you'll have in that scenario (say, 40p), and what that equates to as a return.
Then back the uncovered horse to return a profit whatever happens.]
A - 1 (Aeronwyn Bryn), 2 (Party Royal)
Just A's - 2 x 2 x 1 x 3 x 2 x 2 = 48 bets
All picks - 2 x 4 x 3 x 3 x 2 x 2 = 288 bets
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