‘Rustler’ a strong fancy to make it third time lucky!

Domandlouis will not come as a surprise if able to ‘ruffle feathers’ of much-better fancied rivaLs in an eight-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles around Ayr today when the number one Scottish circuit will probably be demanding; in the United Kingdom there is ‘soft’ and there is ‘Ayr soft!’

Penalised contestants often have bellows to mend in the closing stages and I’m keen to take odds-on favourite Captain Biggles with Lucinda Russell’s progressive charge, which will be fit enough.

Partner Peter Scudamore, formerly champion National Hunt jockey when with Martin Pipe’s ‘winning machine’ in the 1980/90’s, has obviously instilled into Lucinda the need to have horses super fit and what a transformation in her fortunes since teaming up with ‘Scu’ whose front-running tactics won millions for the west-country set-up and its followers. Ms Russell has become a much-respected force and this columnist is always ready to chance her runners given a whiff of presence; Domandlouis represents a first class example.

Seven weeks ago this Getaway gelding finished third (of 11!) over the minimum distance, beaten sixteen lengths by 1/2 favourite Soft Risk but shaped well by running on well with Derek Fox in a manner that suggested ‘next time’ to this veteran scribe; after computing the time-handicap assessment Domandlouis went into my mental ‘tracker’ and extra distance is indeed a bonus.

Not for one moment am I suggesting ‘Dom’ will beat consistent, hitherto luckless Captain Biggles but if all declarations go to post three places will be available and judged on that latest effort my selection will occupy one of them without fuss.

Horses selected in this column are always worth following, any horse capable of making an impression on the TH should be placed to advantage; Peter and Lucinda place their runners superbly and I’m looking forward to this race with relish.

Just over an hour later stable companions Rowdy Rustler and Netywell are bound to be ‘on the premises’ in the twelve-runner Maiden Hurdle over two miles; preference is for the latter, napped last time when a creditable third at Kelso, under Fox, making the running until approaching the last flight.

Twice-raced Rowdy Rustler is a FUN (follow up nap) proposition and jockey booking is significant for this seven-year-old which, coincidentally, is also by Getaway.

Running in tandem will be Plumpton where Chris Gordon-trained Aucunrisque looks a ‘stand out’ for the opening Novices’ Hurdle over two miles of ‘soft’ ground on a course which is magnificently managed.

Chris has been a victim of negative tactics, I’ve implored him to send his runners to the front and, hopefully, we’ll see a change in policy this year.

My modus operandi will continue to favour each-way ‘trixie’ bets.

Selections, Plumpton, 12.08 Aucunrisque (e.w); Ayr, 12.30 Domandlouis (e.w); 1.20 Rowdy Rustler (nap-e.w).   

 Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019