Cartmel 12:30 – William Hill Racing Radio Handicap Hurdle (3m1½f)
This looks competitive despite the field being only seven strong and it’s one of those races where you could make a case for most of them. That suggests that there is value to be had.
Four of the runners won last time, so they are bound to be fancied by someone and, more importantly, the bookies are bound to shorten them as a result.
That means that Jelski, who dotted up here (2m6f, good to soft) on his penultimate start by 25-lengths, has slipped under the radar.
Admittedly, he was pulled up back here last time over that same trip, having gone up 11lbs. However, the manner of his win on June 1 suggests that he still has claims here, provided you can forgive him that latest effort.
There was no explanation for it following a vet’s examination but, the ‘will he, won’t he bounce back’ question is reflected in odds of 12/1.
Trainer Jimmy Moffatt loves having winners at his home track and he’d not have him back here three weeks or so after that run if he didn’t feel he is ready to do himself justice.
He looks an each-way play at 12s and if you can get three places with anyone, then that may be prudent.
Cartmel 13:00 – Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle (2m6f)
There are 14 declared for this staying handicap hurdle, which has an open look to it.
I quite like the look of a sporting each-way play on the 16/1 chance Dan Gun, who represents Simon Waugh.
Already a C&D winner in May, when just 3lb lower, he acts well on a sound surface and has a feather weight to carry by comparison to plenty of opponents who are shorter in the market.
Although he weakened out of it back over C&D last time, that was on slower ground and he is significantly better when conditions are as forecast, good.
With so many in the field you’ll get the first three placing and may even be able to find four places with some bookmakers. He must have an excellent chance of that.
Cartmel 13:30 – ABF The Soldiers Charity Handicap Hurdle (2m1f)
Another 14-runner handicap hurdle, this time over shorter and I’d like to put up another each-way suggestion here in Calliope, who is 10/1 at the time of writing and knows her way around here.
She won here over 2m6f last year when conditions were described as good but she is versatile with regard to trip and has been third back here over this C&D on her last two starts.
She’s been dropped another 1lb since one of those third-placed efforts, in a mares’ handicap hurdle on Saturday, she rarely runs a bad race at this track and she looks value against one or two shorter-priced runners in the field.
Ayr 13:50 – Ayr Sunday Market At Ayr Racecourse Apprentice Handicap (1m5f)
A modest turnout and this looks a good opportunity for Graces Quest to make it a third win since joining Jim Goldie, who has already prepared her to score at both Musselburgh (1m4½f, good to firm) and Carlisle (1m3f, good to firm).
The four-year-old filly has been particularly consistent in four of her last five starts now and is running to a level that suggests there is another win in her from this current BHA mark of 67.
She gets the sound surface that she thrives on and, if it dries even more, then that will be even better for her.
This is a very slight step up in trip for her but you’d have to say that, from the way she runs, she is highly likely to get home and although she’ll probably go off as the favourite, she does look to have a favourite’s chance.
Ayr 15:00 – Jordan North @Scottish Sun Ladies Night Handicap (6f)
I’m going for a Jim Goldie double at Ayr and horse in question in this second leg goes by the name of Classy Al.
The Fountain Of Youth gelding sprang a 22/1 surprise over this C&D (good) in April, which was a career-best at the time.
He flopped when back here next time on soft ground, with jockey Paul Mulrennan describing him as running too free.
Having taken a step back in the right direction at Hamilton next time, he returned to this C&D a couple of weeks ago and produced another ‘PB’ when scoring from a mark of 60.
The ground was good again that day and that remains the case for Monday. He has only gone up 3lb for getting his nose in front and Goldie, who is excellent at squeezing extra bits of improvement out of his inmates, can probably raise the bar again.
At around 9/2, he looks to have a seriously good chance.