Race of the Day - 14:45 Ayr
We start the week with a wide open six furlong sprint at Ayr, in a race where cases can be made for a lot of the field on first glance.
Muscika has won two out of his last three races, including over course and distance last time out when he saw the race out really well. He has been raised five pounds for that win, however, he is a lightly raced three year old who still looks open to plenty of improvement. Jockey Daniel Tudhope has been among the winners recently and also has a fine record when racing here at Ayr.
Dark Defender has been running consistently without getting his head in front, and he was a good third over course and distance two runs ago. He is weighted to produce the goods if he hits top form, and he has the highest Speed Rating in the race, with a mark of 78.
When looking at the Instant Expert report it is Muscika that really stands out, with four sections of green. He is 1/1 here at Ayr and seems to relish this type of going, therefore, if he reproduces, or as is likely, improves on his performance last time out, he will be very difficult to stop.
Green sections are few and far between for the remainder of the field, however, Roaring Forties has two sections of green and one of amber, showing he is reasonably well suited to today's conditions. He is six pounds higher than for his last victory, but is 2/2 in this class of race and if he can find some form in conditions he likes, he is a huge price.
Early leaders here over this distance have an excellent record, with 17.76% of them going on to win the race, for a level stakes profit of 116.41.
Dark Defender and Kenny The Captain are clear on the Pace scores, which are based on the last four runs of each horse. However, they are not really confirmed front runners, usually sitting just in behind the pace.
A lot of the field prefer to be held up, so it will be interesting to see if one of the more prominent racers decides to set off really quickly and try and run the finish out of most of the field.
Ruth Carr and James Sullivan have a very good long-term record together at Ayr, as over the past five years they've has 17 winners (14.78%) and 35 places (30.43%) from 115 runners, for level stakes profits of 27.20 and 2.38 respectively. They team up with Merdon Castle here today, and he was a good winner over this distance at Carlisle three runs ago. A repeat of that performance would surely see him go close here today, from just three pounds higher.
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