James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Ayr - April 21 2023
Ayr 12:15
Bridget Andrews

Frere D'Armes

J: Bridget Andrews
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 6
Weight: 11-3
OR: 136
Days: 20

The first selection of the afternoon comes in the Scotty Brand Handicap Chase over 2m 1/2f and Frere D'Armes for Dan Skelton can get back to winning ways.

A prolific handicap chaser this season since being sent over fences winning on his seasonal debut at Kempton beating the talented Haddex Des Obeaux off a mark of 120.

Upped 8lb for his next event he made it back to back wins at Newbury seeing off the Betfair Hurdle winner Aucunrisque, who also was a narrow second over fences in Grade Two company.

Racing off a mark of 136 when last seen at Ascot he finished second giving 7lb away to Gary Moore's horse Black Gerry.

Back for what could be his last run of the season off the same mark we think he can bounce back to form getting weight off some of the smarter runners in the field.

Newbury - April 21 2023
Newbury 12:30
Kevin Stott

Mojo Star

J: Kevin Stott
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 118
Days: 310

The first race of the afternoon sees the Group Three Surprise Stakes over 1m4f and we are taking on the favourite Hurricane Lane with Mojo Star.

Showing how much of a smart stayer he was back in 2021 when second to Adayar in the Epsom Derby, he then went to to Doncaster later on in the season having broken his maiden tag the time before to finish second again in the Group One St Leger behind Hurricane Lane.

He ran no race on his final run of the 2021 season when 10th of 14 in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and was only seen once in 2022 in June when second to Kyprios in the Group One Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Not seen since then having picked up a little setback he now returns this season and with glowing reviews from his trainer Richard Hannon, if not needing the run his price of 11/2 compared to the favourite Hurricane Lane at 5/6 makes him the bet.

Ayr - April 21 2023
Ayr 12:50
Nico de Boinville

City Chief

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: 142
Days: 77

On what could be a big day on ITV for Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville one of their best chances of the afternoon comes from City Chief who has skipped the big spring festivals for this event.

A horse that showed plenty of ability over hurdles last year winning his last two events over timber, his last win in a Handicap Hurdle over course and distance at Ayr.

This term he was sent chasing and having needed his first outing in a two runner race behind Gelino Bello, he has since then gone unbeaten in his last two events.

Getting off the mark in a three runner event at Hereford where he easily saw off Coconut Splash, he then went to Wetherby in February and saw off a progressive type in O'Toole in the Grade Two Towton Novices' Chase.

Skipping engagements at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, he drops back into handicap company off a mark of 142 and revelling in the trip and this track he could be the one to beat.

Newbury - April 21 2023
Newbury 13:05
Kevin Stott

Magical Sunset

J: Kevin Stott
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 100
Days: 182

Another classy Group Three follows with the Dubai Duty Free Stakes and it could be a good day for Amo Racing with Magical Sunset a big player.

A winner on debut at Windsor in August last season beating the superstar Sakheer who is a live chance in the 2000 Guineas.

She then went to Doncaster and ran a decent race in the £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes to finish six lengths back in sixth behind the likes of Cold Case, Alpha Capture, Holguin and Galeron who all went on to frank the form.

Sent to the Curragh in September for the Goffs Million event she was behind Galeron again this time a closer fourth when running another solid race.

At the back end of last term she rattled off successive wins at Leicester and Newbury, her latest win when bolting up in a Listed event on heavy by five lengths.

She is a filly that is certain to progressive with age and with the step up to 7f last time out bringing improvement she has every chance of going close again with juice in the ground.

Ayr - April 21 2023
Ayr 13:25

Nemean Lion

T: Kerry Lee
Age: 6
Weight: 10-11
OR: 135
Days: 49

The first big event of the afternoon is the Grade Two Scottish Champion Hurdle over two miles and at an each way price Nemean Lion for Kerry Lee is progressing at a rate of knots.

A very consistent performer on all four of his starts over hurdles this term, making his debut at Hereford in November on good to soft ground, he went on to bolt up by close to 10 lengths.

Sent into a better race next time out at Haydock under a penalty he ran a cracker to finish second to the likeable Hullnback for Fergal O'Brien who has since won again.

Stepped up into the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle next time out in tough conditions he showed his versatility to battle all the way to line to finish a close third behind the very talented Tahmuras.

Putting up a career best effort last time out at Kelso when dropped into Grade Two company, he went on to impressively land the Premier Novices' Hurdle.

Skipping the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals he heads into this event fresh off a nice weight and if carrying on an upward curve, he has the potential to go close.

Newbury - April 21 2023
Newbury 13:40
Frankie Dettori


J: Frankie Dettori
T: Andrew Balding
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 119
Days: 196

The feature race of the afternoon at Newbury on Saturday is the Group Three Greenham Stakes and if Chaldean is the potential 2000 Guineas horse he can turn out to be he should be winning this event.

Chaldean was fifth in a moderate novice on debut at Newbury, but it’s what he’s done since that matters. He’s won four on the bounce, including the Group Three Acomb Stakes at York, Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and then when last seen saw off Royal Scotsman, Nostrum and Aesop's Fables to take the Group One Dewhurst Stakes.

A horse with a superb pedigree being a well bred son of Frankel he has the world at his feet and having both form on good and soft ground he looks bulletproof in this field.

Ayr - April 21 2023
Ayr 14:00
Nico de Boinville

Balco Coastal

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 7
Weight: 11-2
OR: 150
Days: 37

Another classy event from Ayr on ITV this Saturday is the Grade Two Future Champion Novices' Stakes over 2m 4 1/2f and we can't look past Balco Coastal for Nicky Henderson.

The Nicky Henderson trained seven year old was touted to be a top hurdler last season having won back to back Novice Hurdle events at Huntingdon and Ludlow.

Sent to Cheltenham in January he finished second to the talented North Lodge in the Grade Two Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, but then took a backwards step when pulled up in the 22 runner Imperial Cup at Sandown.

He got back to form on his last run of the season when third behind the well handicapped Langer Dan and Fils D'oudairies at Aintree.

Sent chasing this season he was dropped in trip on his chase/seasonal debut and in a very competitive Novices' Limited Handicap Chase off a mark of 133 he finished fifth behind some smart types, beaten by less than seven lengths.

Watching that event back he jumped well but looks to want a step up in trip to his preferred distance of 2m4f and he got that on Boxing Day at Newbury when bolting up by nine lengths off a mark of 133.

Stepped up to Grade One company at Sandown next time out in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase he finished a superb second behind the superstar Grade One winner Gerri Colombe.

Running no race last time out the Cheltenham festival in the Grade One Turners' Novices' Chase, he does need to bounce back to form but in much calmer waters he looks the one to be on.

Newbury - April 21 2023
Newbury 14:15
Kieran Shoemark


J: Kieran Shoemark
T: Charlie Fellowes
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 100
Days: 21

The final event from Newbury on Saturday is the Spring Cup Handicap over a mile and we are giving another chance to Atrium for Charlie Fellowes.

Progressive at the back end of last term when landing back to back races over a mile at Newbury over course and distance and Doncaster off marks of 92 and 96.

Seen for the first time this season on heavy ground in the Lincoln when well fancied he ran no race and was basically pulled up not having a hard race at all.

With the ground not as bad at Newbury but still having soft ground form he can bounce back with a better run in this event.

Ayr - April 21 2023
Ayr 14:35
Jack Tudor

Kitty's Light

J: Jack Tudor
T: Christian Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 140
Days: 56

The final event of the afternoon at Ayr on ITV is the feature event of the day with the Scottish Grand National over four miles and we have dutched the race.

We can't look past the favourite Kitty's Light in this event with the horse still on a lesser mark than when a good second in this last year, his trainer winning the race last year and this having already won over this trip this season, he has everything in his profile to run a big race.

A superb stayer at these trips, seen to date finishing second and third in a bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown the first time by a short head over 3m5f and second in a Scottish Grand National over four miles.

This season his mark of 144 looked to be beyond him and he has ran poorly on his first four occasions in what was maybe a ploy to get his mark down.

Next time out off a mark of 135 he ran a better race to finish third behind Annsam at Kempton in a competitive Handicap Chase over three miles.

Dropped a further 3lb to a mark of 132 when last seen in the Eider Chase over four miles at Newcastle he needed every bit of the trip to take the race.

He is 8lb higher to a mark of 140 for this event but having finished second to Win My Wings in this last year off 143, he could still be well in.

Ayr - April 21 2023
Ayr 14:35
Derek Fox

Your Own Story

J: Derek Fox
T: Lucinda Russell
Age: 7
Weight: 10-2
OR: 127
Days: 31

At a slightly bigger price and horse who has potentially set up for this event all season is the Lucinda Russell trained Your Own Story, with the trainer looking to land the Aintree Grand National and Scottish National in a week.

Given plenty of experience over fences this term in preparation for this event he made his chase debut at Aintree in October when a good second to the progressive Kinondo Kwetu.

Stepped up to 3m 4 1/2 at Haydock when next seen a ran another solid race to finish fourth behind a good horse in No Cruise Yet, finishing less than nine lengths behind the winner.

Second again at Ayr behind another progressive horse at the time in Gold Cup Bailly, he then went to Uttoxeter and placed again behind two good stayers in Tip Top Cat and Autonomous Cloud who have both ran well since.

He bumped into another smart performer in Stumptown at Sandown next time out over three miles with the winner since a head second in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham festival.

Finally getting off the mark in March at Wetherby off a mark of 117, he then went to Haydock a few weeks later over 3m 4 1/2f and was second by 1/2 a length to Equus Dreamer.

Given another 4lb rise for that win he now sits on a mark of 128 which sees him well weighted for this event and with this trainer knowing how to train Grand National winners we think stepping up in trip, this lad might find more improvement.