The Parkdean Resorts Glasgow Fair Handicap (4.05) at Ayr on Monday is a trappy affair, in which it’s possible to make a case for most, if not all, of the runners. However, Brother McGonagall is on a roll and may be capable of completing a four-timer, despite taking a significant rise in class.
Tim Easterby’s four-year-old starting his winning sequence off a handicap mark of 69, but is now up to a mark off 85 – including a 6lb penalty for winning a 0-80 contest over course and distance eight days ago – so clearly needs to maintain his improvement to feature in this 0-100 affair. However, his latest effort was his best yet and while he best just three rivals on that occasion he did so in convincing style and never looked like being beaten.
Among his rivals, the Mark Johnston-trained pair, Poet’s Society and Vale Kent, both like to race prominently, but hopefully there shouldn’t be too much competition for the lead. Certainly, if allowed a “soft” lead, as he was eight days ago, Brother McGonagall could prove a tough nut to crack once again. That said, he doesn’t need to make his own running, as he proved when winning at Beverley and Doncaster on his two previous starts, so he should be fine however the race pans out tactically. It’s fair to say that, statistically, Tim Easterby doesn’t have a great record at Ayr, but as a progressive course and distance winner, Brother McGonagall should give us a decent run for our money.
Selection: Ayr 4.05 Brother McGonagall to win 4/1