The Scottish Grand National meeting arrives at Ayr this Friday with a competitive and bumper eight-race card at Ayr Racecourse. 

The racing gets underway at 1.20pm with a handicap hurdle in class three before rounding off at 5pm with another handicap hurdle, this time in class four and for amateur jockeys. 

The opener at 1.20pm sees 14 runners head to post to take on the two-mile trip around Ayr.

Recent obstacle debutant Bluegrass, who placed in the Dante at York for Aidan O’Brien on the Flat, has been showing good progress over hurdles for trainer Stuart Edumunds having placed in two Huntingdon handicaps before scoring at Fakenham.

The main threat could come from the unexposed Phantomofthepoints while Lively Citizen, who was fourth in the Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle at Aintree last week, is turned out quickly. 

Race two (1.50pm) is the mares’ maiden hurdle over the two-mile distance and eight runners are set to line up.

Irish raider Lily Du Berlais should be in contention having been a well-held second on debut at Catterick while Shakeyatailfeather for championship-chasing trainer Dan Skelton is one to consider having finished second at Kempton in a two-mile novice earlier this month. 

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The third race of the afternoon (2.20pm) looks to be all about Catch Him Derry for the Skelton team, a winner at Southwell in January who followed up with a second with a second at Bangor-On-Dee, beaten that day by Aintree winner Gwennie May Boy so that second is looking a good piece of form for Catch Him Derry. 

There are plenty with chances in race four (2.50pm) but the pick is likely to be Jet Plane, who looks well-in with the handicapper under a 5lb penalty having scored handsomely at Market Rasen last week and is taken to complete a hat-trick at Ayr.

Prairie Wolf is feared most, who is also chasing a hat trick after wins at Catterick and Haydock in the last couple of months. 

Race five on the card (3.20pm) is another competitive contest with Jagwar, a winner at Carlisle on February 19, in the frame to go one better than his recent fourth at Uttoxeter.

Powerhouse trainer Nicky Henderson sends Doddiethegreat, 12th in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, back down in class here and is another to consider. 

Royal Mer has won three races on the spin for trainer David Pipe and can defy a penalty to make it four in a row in the six-runner handicap chase at 3.55pm and in race seven (4.30pm), Plasir De Flos has shown much improvement in handicaps and is taken to complete the hat trick of wins here. 

Finally, the card comes to a close with at 5pm with a nine-runner handicap hurdle in class four and Liyhan is fancied to go one better than his second at Musselburgh last time out, while Glen Canel could also be in the mix, a course and distance winner as a Novice and third in a handicap hurdle at Haydock last month. 

Ayr selections - Friday (via horse racing betting).

  • 1.20pm - Bluegrass
  • 1.50pm - Lily Du Berlais
  • 2.20pm - Catch Him Derry
  • 2.50pm - Jet Plane
  • 3.20pm - Doddiethegreat
  • 3.55pm - Royal Mer
  • 4.30pm - Plasir De Flos
  • 5pm - Liyhan