Tip of the day: Be Frank at Ayr
Ian Ogg tries to solve the Ayr Bronze Cup as he heads to the second day of the Western Meeting for the sportinglife tip.
Jim Crowley takes the ride on Colonel Frank
Non-runners are coming in left, right and centre at Newbury following this morning's surprise inspection and overnight heavy rain.
There are no such problems at Ayr for the second day of the Western Meeting where there will be plenty of attention on the Bronze Cup in the hope that it throws up some 'draw' clues for tomorrow.
The rapidly progressive Giant Spark is the only runner at a single figure price and I was vaguely tempted by Twin Appeal as an each-way interest with a number of firms offering five places.
David Barron's team have returned to form with a vengeance this month and I thought there was enough promise in his Oratorio gelding's run at Thirsk three days ago. His winning form, indeed most of his form, is over seven furlongs but that never seems to be a bad thing at Ayr and he should be perfectly at home under the conditions.
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I was also tempted by I'll Be Good in the Al Maktoum, Dundee College Handicap at 3.05 as the seven-year-old seemed a fair price for an impressive last time out winner. He may be getting on in years but it was only the gelding's second start for Brian Ellison and it wouldn't be any great surprise were he able to conjure further improvement from the son of Red Clubs.
The slight nagging doubt is that his best form has come at Chester and he has struggled on his previous visits to Ayr.
You could probably quibble with Colonel Frank's price in the Shadwell Stud Nursery given the competitive nature of this race but Ed Walker's juvenile has improved with each of his three starts and gives the impression that there is more to come.
The Dutch Art colt is a full-brother to the decent juvenile Agent Allison and connections may be keen to kick on with him this autumn given that his sister didn't progress.
He showed ability on debut at Yarmouth before splitting two useful prospects at Wolverhampton – the third, still a maiden, had run Blue Point to half a length in June and previously chased home Mokarris – before winning at Ripon where he and the runner-up (disappointing yesterday, albeit in a hot race) pulled seven lengths clear.
Writing on his website, Walker said: "I think he has got as good a chance as any off a fair opening mark of 79.
"I think he was value for more than the eventual half a length winning margin last time given he did not really enjoy the undulations of the track and with some cut in the ground he will really be seen at his best I feel. He is a progressive two year old and I think the best is yet to come so we are very hopeful of a big run."
I'm sure there are more than one or two trainers with similarly high hopes for their runners in the race but Colonel Frank has looked the part in everything he's done and is fancied to prove up to the task.
Posted 0833 BST on 16/09/2016
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