Horse Racing

3:00 Ayr Tips: Balco Coastal the one they all have to beat

The fourth race on Scottish Grand National day at Ayr will be the Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices’ Chase, run over two miles, four furlongs.

Scottish Grand National
Photo by Icon Sport

All about Balco Coastal

Nicky Henderson’s Balco Coastal disappointed in the Turners Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, when not really taking to the track, but he ought not to be dismissed on that basis. After all, Cheltenham isn’t for everyone, and plenty of quality horses go on to win top races following an under-par showing at the festival.

Prior to that, the seven-year-old looked a smart sort when chasing home Gerri Colombe at Sandown, going down by less than two lengths, which is not form that should be ignored. Before that he looked very smart indeed when shooting clear of a decent field at Kempton. Again, such form really shouldn’t be overlooked, especially given that there’s a clear lack of depth in this race.

The previously progressive gelding doesn’t exactly race in the fiercest of renewals of this race and if he can re-find his pre-Cheltenham form, he’ll be hard to beat.

Thunder Rock finished behind the selection at Sandown and merits consideration, though he’d have to go some to reverse that form, though he is one win from one run at Ayr, so perhaps he’ll have more to give at this venue.

Emma Lavelle’s top-weighted Hang In There has an impressive record over fences having won five out of seven, including a decent Grade 2 novice even when last seen, though that race lacked depth, while he’s now got to overcome a 168-day lay-off, as well as the fact that he must give weight away all round, which looks a big ask.

Best Bet: Balco Coastal to Win @ 9/4

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