SADLY the scheduled fixture at Ayr Racecourse today (Tuesday) was abandoned due to two inches of rain falling at the track between 5pm on Saturday and 6am on Monday morning.

Storm Ciara well and truly scuppered what was shaping to be a decent day’s racing so we don’t now race again until Saturday March 7 which is Tennent’s Raceday featuring a food and drinks fayre.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to look ahead even further to Scotland’s biggest and richest race meeting the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.

It takes place in just over two months’ time on Friday April 17 and Saturday April 18 with as ever the £215,000 Coral Scottish Grand National the main attraction on what is a feast of quality racing.

Connections of last year’s winner Takingrisks are eyeing a tilt at the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on April 4.bUT

But the fact that our race is two weeks away means that if the Nicky Richards ‘ trained horse was either to exit the Grand National early or not have a hard race he could still run at Ayr.

The Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle is another highlight and Richards is eyeing this for his talented hurdler Ribble Valley, whose only defeat over timber was to Colin Tizzard’s Master Debonnair, now a 14-1 chance for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham next month, at Ascot in December on unsuitable heavy ground.

Nicky thinks highly of this horse and has long had the Scottish Champion Hurdle in mind as an ideal end-of season target for him.

Other top races at Ayr’s big meeting are the Hillhouse Quarry Chase on the Friday which has been won for the last three seasons by a Dan Skelton-trained horse and the £100,000 CPMS Novices’ Chase on the Saturday.

The Skelton yard is in absolutely terrific form and as always it is their intention to bring a lot of runners north in an attempt to plunder our big prizes.

Two Taffs, who won the Hillhouse race back in 2017 could well run in this again and showed up well when finishing second in a decent contest at Warwick on Saturday. So lots to look forward too.

Tickets for the Saturday have sold out for the past few years and last year they were all gone six weeks before the event.

Ticket sales are once again going very well so if you haven’t already bought your tickets do so as soon as possible.

So the message is if you haven’t already bought your tickets do so as soon as possible.