big-race-preview-National-HuntA sold out Scottish Grand National meeting and Greenham Stakes day provide the feature cards from Ayr and Newbury on Saturday afternoon, where ITV are showing nine races, and we’ve ear-marked a Dark Horse in each…

AYR - view full GG Racecard

13:25 The Scotty Brand Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race)

Dark Horse

Bet SAINT LEO 14/1 @ Unibet

This Sandy Thompson trained 6yo doesn’t have the best of form figures in the book lately, but he’s had his fair share of hard luck too. He has some very useful form in the book, enjoyed a solid, confidence boosting spin over hurdles last time and could go well here off a low weight.

13:55 The Dawn Homes Novices' Championship Handicap Steeple Chase

Dark Horse


This handsome grey 6yo is yet to win in five starts over fences, but the JP McManus owned and Harry Fry trained runner has been steadily progressing through his last three runs and gets in here off a really nice weight of 10st 1lb under Richie McLernon. Others have way more obvious claims, but don’t discount this lad.

14:25 The Scottish Champion Hurdle Race (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2)

Dark Horse

Bet BENNY’S BRIDGE 10/1 @ Unibet

What a cracker of a race we have here and once again it is a horse lurking down the bottom of the weights catching the eye for a big run. Fergal O’Brien’s Benny’s Bridge will be anchored out the back to come with a late run and he could still be very well handicapped off 129 under Paddy Brennan.

15:00 The Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices' Steeple Chase (Grade 2)

Dark Horse

Bet CASTAFIORE 7/1 @ Unibet

This chestnut mare has lots of ability and once again, Charlie Longsdon’s 6yo is pitched in against the boys. She finished down the field behind Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Chase at Cheltenham, but track and conditions are much more to her liking here, so don’t be surprised if she pops up with a good effort in this.

15:35 The Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)

Dark Horse

Bet CHIC NAME 20/1 @ Unibet

7yo Chic Name is the second Sandy Thompson trained runner to make it onto our Dark Horses list and the 7yo seems to be improving at just the right time. He slammed Joe Farrell at Newbury last time out which was a clear career best and although his form before that leaves him plenty to do, he could have more to give here under a low weight.

NEWBURY- view full GG Racecard

13:40 The Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (Registered As The John Porter Stakes)

Dark Horse

Bet MOOTASADIR 13/2 @ Unibet

This Hugo Palmer trained 4yo colt has been a real firecracker on the A/W of late, posting a searingly quick speed figure when landing a 10f heat at Kempton at the end of last month. The son of Dansili is clearly very talented and if he can put it down on grass, he’s definitely the Dark Horse in the race.

14:10 The Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Class 1) (Registered As The Fred Darling Stakes) (Group 3)

Dark Horse


This Mick Channon trained filly only ran to an RPR of 66 when landing a small race at Leicester on debut, she will need to run up to around 102-108 in order to land this, so clearly has a mountain to climb on bare form. But the fact she turns up in this Group 3 first time out suggests that somebody clearly thinks quite a bit of her. She’s around 14/1-16/1 for this, on form she’s a 200/1 shot. So what don’t we know about Modern Millie? We’ll soon find out.

14:40 The Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes (Class 1) (Group 3)

Dark Horse

Bet NO NONSENSE @ Unibet

David Elsworth has a really interesting and seriously good looking son of Acclamation on his hands here. The 98 rated 3yo only got up by a short head at Kempton last time out, but the manner in which he went about his work suggests he could have loads of improvement to come. He’s entered for the A/W Champs Day at Lingfield, which is the more obvious choice given his profile, yet he is declared to run here. Interesting.

15:15 The MansionBet Spring Cup (Class 2 Handicap)

Dark Horse

Bet HISTORY WRITER 16/1 @ Unibet

David Menuisier is a trainer going places and the recently gelded History Writer definitely catches the eye with Jason Watson booked for the ride. This 4yo has some really useful form to his name and could be even better as a 4yo. He has a workable BHA handicap mark of 91 and cannot be excluded from calculations despite others having more obviously solid form figures.

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