Who To Follow At Ayr On Saturday - 02/04/22

James Mackie

Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
Harry Skelton

West Cork

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 8
Weight: 11-2
OR: 142
Days: 15

One of the feature events of the afternoon in Scotland on Saturday is the Grade Two Scottish Champion Hurdle and West Cork for the Skelton's looks a class above this field.

The eight year old has always been a top hurdler for the yard and this season came back from a setback with a bang landing the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham after over 18 months off the track.

He made a mockery of his mark of 134 and after the win it looked obvious if fully fit, being a top novice hurdler winning good events at Huntingdon twice.

The form of that Greatwood is unbelievable with the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and 14th since going to either win or run credibly in better races.

Moved up to a mark of 141 after his win in the Greatwood, he was a fair fifth in a Grade Three Handicap Hurdle at Ascot behind Tritonic.

Since then he was saved for the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival with the yard having a good record in it and West Cork was a superb fourth of 26, not far behind the likes of State Man, First Street and Colonel Mustard.

That looks some of the stand out form heading into this race only being penalised 1lb to a mark of 142 and getting 8lb off the second favourite looks huge.


Trainer To Follow - Donald McCain

Donald McCain has had one of his best seasons to date, banging in winners all over the north of the country and he has sent a good team to Ayr on Saturday.

In the Scottish Champion Hurdle, McCain has a big chance with Barrichello who has been a serial winner this season winning four of his last five events and although this is a step up he deserves his chance.

Minella Drama is arguably his best chance of a winner on the day in the Future Champions Novices' Chase, needing to put his latest run behind but still holding bundles of ability.

With no runner in the Scottish Grand National his final big chance of a winner is Could Be Trouble who is a course and distance winning mare that has knocking of the door of late and could go close.

McCain heads into the weekend running at a superb strike rate of 30%, managing 12 winners from his last 40 runners over the last two weeks.

Jockey To Follow - Adrian Heskin

The jockey to follow on Saturday in Scotland is Adrian Heskin who has a nice book of rides for his retained owners the McNeill family.

His first big ride comes in the Novices' Champion Handicap Chase on I K Brunel who has always threatened to be a nice horse and now gets his chance to show the world.

In the Champion Novices' Chase he gets the leg up on Kitealy Briggs, who was pulled at the Cheltenham festival last time out but before that was running credibly and he will be looking to get back to that form.

He rides a live chance in the Scottish Grand National with The Wolf who seems to love the trip and at 12/1 can't be overlooked getting his ideal conditions.

The final horse worth noting for Heskin is Enemy Coast Ahead who looks to be placed into a race he can go close in.