Who To Follow At Ayr On Sunday

Horse To Follow - Soldier Of Love

The feature race of the day at Ayr on Sunday is the four mile Scottish Grand National and Our selection is the Paul Nicholls trained Soldier Love, who has not been seen since November and has potentially been saved for a crack at this event.

The Ditcheat handler is always worth taking note of in this race having landed two of the last four renewals and with Sean Bowen already booked to ride this eight year old, we don't believe the 14/1 will be around on Sunday.

The son of Yeats was used through the summer last year making his seasonal debut at Bangor in July and getting off the mark in fine style.

Off the back of that run he went on to win three more races making it four in a row, with chase victories at Newton Abbot all on good ground over staying trips.

He was then taken to Cheltenham in October and finished a good runner up behind National Hunt Chase winner at the festival Galvin.

However, Soldier Of Love was last seen being pulled up at Prestbury Park in November behind The Big Breakaway who was a good winner of the event.

Having not been seen since then it looks as though Nicholls has kept his mark down for this race and with good ground being key to this horse he could have a huge chance.

The step up in trip to the National distance could bring big improvement with him already proving he is a good stayer at 3m2f and at 14/1 he looks a solid each way player if raring to go.

Trainer To Follow - Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls has some huge chances to clinch the trainers championship on Sunday, sending a strong team up to Ayr and we believe that makes him the handler to follow on the day.

In the first race of the day he fields Grand Sancy in a Listed Handicap Chase and although losing his way of late, he has a big chance on the best of his form.

He next fields Enrilo in the Champion Handicap Chase and back that up in the Scottish Champion Hurdle with Thyme White and Diego Du Charmil both flying the flag for the Ditcheat handler.

One of the trainers best chances on the day is the Tamaroc Du Mathan in the Grade Two Champion Novices' Chase, who has been primed for this event.

Nicholls could have a few runners in the Scottish Grand National with Soldier Of Love, Truckers Lodge and Highland Hunter all in the frame to take their chances.

With such a strong team heading to Scotland and him having 13 winners from his last 50 runners posing a 26% strike rate, he could clean up.

Jockey To Follow - Sean Bowen

With Harry Cobden out of action with injury it has presented a huge opportunity for Sean Bowen to land some nice winners on Sunday with him taking most of the rides for Nicholls.

On Sunday he has picked up some crackers starting with Grand Sancy in the first and then getting the leg up on others like Soldier Of Love in the Scottish Grand National and Tamaroc Du Mathan in the Grade Two Champion Novices' Chase.

Bowen has a big opportunity over the next few weeks to make him a permanent part of Nicholls' team going forward and this weekend at Ayr, he has a good record at the track this season with four rides, one win and one place giving him a 25% win rate.