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Ayr- Preview 9th November 2022

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.

LEADING Irish trainer Gordon Elliott is hoping to improve on his 20 per-cent Ayr strike-rate with his two County Meath raiders on Wednesday.


He saddles Sam’s Choice in the opening Virgin Best Maiden Hurdle and Benz in the Virgin Bet Novices’ Hurdle with both ridden by Jack Kennedy, who has had four previous months without any success at Scotland’s premier venue.


Speaking from his Cullentra House stables, Elliott said: “We’ve enjoyed a fair bit of luck at Ayr in the past but unfortunately I’m too busy at home to make the journey across this time. We’d normally use Sean Bowen for the rides but he’s down at Bangor so Jack is happy to come over.


“Sam’s Choice is dropping back in trip and will love the ground so I think he has a good chance. However Benz has plenty of weight and there is a worry about the ground for him.”


The feature race is the £15,400 Virgin Bet Handicap Chase, a Challenger Staying Chase Series Qualifier, and Dieu Vivant is the only one of the six runners from south of the border.


Trained in Cheshire by Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero, a lot of his recent outings under Rules have been in hunter chase company although he also boasts winning handicap form.


Lizzie Quinlan, wife of Scottish Grand National jockey Sean Quinlan, saddles her first runner at Ayr in the shape of Benito in the Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle.


She took over the licence at the Cumbrian yard formerly occupied by her mother Barbara Butterworth earlier this autumn and has yet to record her maiden strike.