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Ayr Tips - Four horses to back on day one of the Scottish Grand National meeting

  • We've picked out four horses to back at Ayr on Friday 16th April
  • The Scottish Grand National meeting kicks off at Ayr on Friday
  • Soyouthinksoagain and Schiehallion Munro feature among our best bets
Ayr races hurdle
Ayr Racecourse. (Getty)

The opening day of Ayr's Scottish Grand National meeting takes place on Friday, with day two's card pushed back to Sunday. Friday's action at Ayr could also have a huge bearing on the race to be crowned Champion Jockey, as Harry Skelton and Brian Hughes ride heavily fancied horses in six of the first seven races on the card.

I've taken a look through Friday's card at Ayr and picked out my best betting tips.

2021 Scottish Grand National Day One Tips

Race 2 - Andrew Plant Hire Novices' Handicap Hurdle Tips

SOYOUTHINKSOAGAIN helped Harry Skelton draw level with Brian Hughes at the top of the jockey standings when he won at Southwell two weeks ago. Dan Skelton's six-year-old finished a close second over three miles at Newbury on his previous start, and strode clear to win comfortably at Southwell, after being backed into odds-on favourite.

This distance has clearly brought around a heap of improvement in this six-year-old. I doubt whether an eleven-pound rise will be enough to stop him winning again.

Race 4 - Mares' Handicap Hurdle Tips

This will be the sixth time AURORA THUNDER has raced at Ayr, and Lucinda Russell's mare has only finished outside the top two places once. Stephen Mulqueen's mount won over two-and-a-half-miles last season, and again on her reappearance off a mark of 116.

Four defeats since then have helped Aurora Thunder return to her last winning mark. She's yet to win over three miles, but stayed on for fourth in a competitive Pertemps Qualifier at Carlisle earlier in the season, and shaped like she needed the trip last time out.

brian hughes
We're backing Brian Hughes to grab a couple of important winners at Ayr on Friday. (Getty)

Race 5 - Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase Tips

Schiehallion Munro3:15pm Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 2m4fGET 5/2 HERE
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Not The Fuisse stayed on from the back to finish fifth in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham, and you can see why he fancied. However, he's yet to really prove himself over this distance, and I expect Brian Hughes will try and stretch his rival's stamina on SCHIEHALLION MUNRO.

Micky Hammond's eight-year-old was beaten into second by two classy sorts in Johnbb and Romain De Senam earlier in the season, when giving the winners plenty of weight. Schiehallion Munro then jumped beautifully out in front at Kelso, but was reeled in after the last by Court Master, who was getting a stone from the runner-up.

10-10 is a stone lighter than anything Schiehallion Munro has carried this season and, although it's a Listed race, it's no tougher than any of the other races he's run well in this term. He could be very hard to pass.

Race 6 - Handicap Hurdle Tips 

Fete Champetre3:50pm Ayrshire Cancer Support Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 2mGET 3/1 HERE
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Again, I'm going to side with Brian Hughes over Harry Skelton, as I fancy FETE CHAMPETRE could get the better of fellow novice and handicap debutante, Defining Battle.

Rose Dobbin's six-year-old has been keen on all three of his starts over hurdles. Having finished third behind Barrichello at Wetherby the time before, Fete Champetre reversed that form emphatically two weeks ago, handing Barrichello a sound six-length beating. 

Defining Battle will want to go hard and fast from the start, like he did at Taunton. However, Theatre Legend and Orkan also like to lead, so Harry Skelton won't have things all his own way up front, and I think Fete Champetre could come through late and pick up the pieces.

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