IT'S not Ladies' Day at Ayr today, but it could be worth following the fortunes of two women trainers.
Ruth Carr makes the journey to the west coast of Scotland from her North Yorkshire base with good prospects of hitting the target with Hab Reeh, while Linda Perratt, on her home ground, likewise has a winning chance with Jinky.
Hab Reeh has been in fine form lately, winning his penultimate race at Newcastle and going down by only half-a-length at Hamilton on his latest start. He has every chance of returning to the number one slot here and providing Carr, pictured, with her 14th winner of what is proving a lucrative campaign for the Stillington trainer, who recently won the Thirsk Hunt Cup with Fort Bastion.
By contrast, Perratt, who has only a small team, is still awaiting her first winner of the season. She can end the drought with Jinky, who has shaped well in his two races this term, finishing third at Musselburth and fourth on this course.
Jinky won over this course and distance last summer and it might well prove that she can do the same this year. The Nairn Brown 50th Anniversary Handicap looks a tight little race and Jinky is napped to make it third-time-lucky under PJ McDonald.
Kevin Ryan likes taking some of his nicer juveniles to Ayr for their introductory outing and it is interesting that his Al Rayyan lines up in the opening EBF Stallions Racing UK 10th Anniversary Maiden Stakes.
A son of Danehill Dancer and a colt with a useful dam line, Al Rayyan could well prove to be smart. His four rivals are likewise unraced, so it is largely guesswork trying to solve this puzzle, but Ryan's horses are in good form, a fact highlighted by The Grey Gatsby winning last week's Dante at York and Astaire finishing an excellent second in the Duke Of York Stakes.
Jim Goldie has a whole heap of runners throughout the afternoon at his local track and could well have a couple of winners, courtesy of New Lease Of Life (2.20), who shaped well here last month on his first start for some 22 months, and Thorntoun Lady (3.50), who ran with encouragement on her comeback outing on this course just over three weeks ago. Graham Lee rides both horses.
At Kempton's evening meeting, Littlemissblakeney makes plenty of appeal in the Kempton For Weddings Maiden Stakes.
Hugo Palmer's speedy filly has finished second at Newcastle and third here on her two starts to date. Her experience should stand her in good stead this evening against newcomer When Will It End from the powerful Richard Hannon stable.
Jazz Master may provide the answer to the Betdaq Handicap, which is the most valuable race on the card.
Trained by Luca Cumani, whose horses generally improve for their comeback outings, Jazz Master finished second to Arab Spring at Doncaster on his reappearance. That winner has since gone on to win at York last week, which augurs well for the chances of Jazz Master. Furthermore, he is a previous winner over this course and distance. Andrea Atzeni has the mount.
Cursory Glance (6.50), another Atzeni mount and a well-bred debutante from the Roger Varian stable, and the evergreen teenager Megalala (8.50), who has won both his starts this season as a 13-year-old, are two others to note.
1.50 Al Rayyan, 2.20 New Lease Of Life, 2.50 Hab Reeh, 3.20 Uncle Dermot, 3.50 Thorntoun Lady, 4.20 Funky Munky, 4.50 Jinky (nap), 5.20 Polar Forest.
5.50 Littlemissblakeney, 6.20 Aeolian Blue, 6.50 Cursory Glance, 7.20 Jazz Master, 7.50 Lawmans Thunder, 8.20 Foie Gras, 8.50 Megalala.
Today's other meetings
Lingfield, Newton Abbot and Worcester.
Ayr, Goodwood, Salisbury, Sandown and Wetherby.