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Ayr – Preview 19th April 2024

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.

Championship-chasing Dan Skelton bids to maintain his stranglehold on the £50,000 feature race at Ayr on Friday.

Doubly-represented this time by hat-trick seeking Jet Plane and top-weight Heltenham, the Warwickshire trainer has landed the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap in four of the last six runnings.

With just over a week of the campaign remaining, Skelton is involved in a titanic three-way tussle with Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls in his quest to be crowned leading jumps trainer for the first time.

Multiple champion Nicholls, with whom Skelton learned his trade, could have a huge say in the outcome of the race as he saddles in-form Outlaw Peter, ridden by Harry Cobden, who is odds-on for a maiden jockeys’ title.

Lucinda Russell will fancy the chances of Salamanca Bay landing the Seko Logistics Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

The gelding has been raised 9lbs for an all-the-way romp over course and distance last month but he faces a stern test from several rivals including David Pipe’s Royal Mer, the winner of his last three starts and four races in all this term.