Thursday April 20

Alan has happy memories of the Scottish Grand National, having captured Ayr’s biggest race with Godsmejudge in 2013 as well as twice supplying the runner-up, and, though he is not represented in the Coral-sponsored marathon this year, he is still planning a strong raid on his “home” course, with three runners there on Friday.

Looking at the trio’s prospects, Alan said:”Sir Antony Browne has been crying out for the step up to two and a half miles in the opener. We knew the trip was on the sharp side at Newbury last time, but Wayne wound it up from three out to make is a proper test of stamina, and our horse won well. He is progressive and will hopefully go well again.

Thomas Shelby runs in the three-mile handicap hurdle. He did not enjoy the soft ground at Newbury last time and for a big horse he actually prefers better ground, so fingers crossed the weather will be as good north of the border as it has been down here.

“Our other runner at Ayr is Cajun Fiddle in the mares handicap hurdle. She is a big strong mare who should do well over fences next season but she ran well again at Newbury last time so deserves one last roll of the dice over the smaller obstacles.

“We also Paddy Boss making his debut for us in the bumper at Southwell tomorrow, while we have two going to Newbury on the Flat, both in the two and a quarter mile handicap. Rainbow Dreamer was unlucky at Leicester a fortnight ago as he missed the break and was always on the back foot, so we are stepping him up in trip here before he has his summer holiday, while the marathon distance should also suit Oceane, who found a slow-run mile and five all against him last time.”