Following on from Cheltenham’s April Meeting, our team is back with our four best bets of the day on Friday afternoon for the cards at Ayr and Ballinrobe.
After yesterday’s punt saw two non-runners and a second, we’ll try our best to select a few winners from jumps action in both Scotland and Ireland as racing heads into the weekend with the Scottish Grand National on the horizon.
Here’s our quartet of fancies in today’s Lucky 15.
1:30pm | Beyond The Pale: S.T. Andrew Plant Hire Novices’ Handicap Hurdle
Fergal O’Brien and Brian Hughes teamed up for a winner at Sedgefield last week via Agent Valdez and this could be another opportunity for the pair to land a blow in Scotland.
Hughes is on the comeback trail as he bids to retain his Jump Jockeys crown, while Ravenswell Farm are closing in on a century of winners for the campaign.
Their charge has found only Paul Nicholls duo Danny Kirwan and Zyon too good on his last couple of starts, but he holds form with Betfair Hurdle second Fifty Ball and could have more to offer now switched to a handicap off a mark of 123.
3.15pm | Theinval: Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase (Listed)
A long-serving veteran from Nicky Henderson’s yard, Theinval could revive his form in the Listed Handicap Chase at Ayr.
The 11-year-old is known to be a stronger performer in the spring months, with four of his six career wins coming between the months of March and May.
Henderson’s gelding is also a big fan of the Ayr course, finishing in the top four in all four of his starts at the Scottish course.
If he can return to his best here, Theinval will be well in the mix in this contest.
4:55pm | Calthor: Killeen Sportsgrounds (C&G) Maiden Hurdle
Calthor may have been a beaten favourite on two occasions, but he could well get the job done here in average company in a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe.
Gavin Cromwell’s youngster has shown sparks of promise this season and has made three starts over fences this season, including a fifth place finish behind the likes of Blackbow and Entoucas in a beginners chase at Navan in November.
The six-year-old looked near certain to win last time out at Wexford, but a mistake at the last took the wind out of his sails and he could only manage to finish third after offering very little in the run-in.
It could well of been the testing ground that cost Calthor that day, but should be able to claim a maiden success here in better conditions.
7:30pm | Top Bandit: Connacht Tribune Flat Race
Denise Foster’s three-time runner up is surely due a change of fortune after being downed by a nose at Leopardstown last time.
He remains with some good form in the book, however, and usual pilot Jamie Codd takes the ride in the curtain closer.
Gavin Cromwell’s Fameaftertheglory was second to a potentially smart sort last time out and is a point winner previously, but perhaps experience can prove pivotal here.
Friday 16th April Lucky 15: Ayr & Ballinrobe
Beyond The Pale: 1:30pm | Ayr
Theinval: 3:15pm | Ayr
Calthor: 4:55pm | Ballinrobe
Top Bandit: 7:30pm | Ballinrobe
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