COMPETITIVE racing is what’s on offer at Ayr on Saturday with Tennent’s Raceday boasting seven contests and a good mix of chases, hurdle races and a bumper.

There should no shortage of excitement and decent fields are anticipated with more than £65,000 in prize-money on offer.

The afternoon kicks off at 1.40pm with the Menabrea Novices’ Hurdle over 2m 4f 110y and I think we could see Marown, owned by Trevor Hemmings and trained by Nicky Richards, lining up in this. This horse has only seen a racecourse twice – winning a bumper at Newcastle before landing a novices’ hurdle at Ayr on January 2. I was hugely impressed by that run and I’d love to see him run on Saturday. Langholm-based trainer James Ewart saddled his useful chaser Charmant to win the Class 3 two mile chase last year and with his stable in good form he should have a few runners during the afternoon. He may be tempted to go for the Tennent’s Light Handicap Chase with Ettila De Sivola who won at Hexham earlier in the season and would get into this event off a light weight.

The Tennnet’s Lager Handicap Hurdle for the Craigie Cup could also be on Ewart’s radar but I wouldn’t think he would have anything good enough to see off the Sandy Thomson trained Mcgowan’s Pass if this horse lines up. He has won two hurdle races at Ayr at a shorter distance but proved he can stay this 2m 4f trip when finishing second at Kelso at the end of January. He will have the help of Ryan Mania from the saddle and could well win this contest for a highly in-form stable.

His opponents could include last year’s winner Crixus’s Escape from the Gillian Bonas yard who has been chasing of late but could revert to hurdles in a bid to land this valuable prize for the second year in a row. With this meeting being run just three days before Cheltenham starts there will be many punters hoping to land a gamble to finance their bets at the festival so I expect quite a few gambles on the day.

It’s worth noting trainers who do well at this meeting down the years and these include the aforementioned James Ewart and Nicky Richards, Martin Todhunter, Ian Duncan and Nick Alexander. Brian Hughes will also be in action as he tries to maintain his lead in the Jockeys’ Championship over the current champion Richard Johnson.Meanwhile club badges for the Coral Scottish Grand National sold out last Friday - more than seven weeks ahead of the big day. There are still Grandstand tickets available as well as space in our brand new Enclosure 27 and a few hospitality packages are available too.