Racing Tips: Youll be Doing Fine if you stick with Young Master Mulholland

SOMETIMES you need to admit that you got it wrong and unfortunately when it comes to last Saturdays Grand National I did just that.

It was bitterly disappointing that none of my four selections even completed, let alone got competitive, but sadly thats the nature of the race and we move on.

Anyway, what better way to bounce back into form than with another Grand National and tomorrow its the Scottish version of the race.

The Coral Scottish Grand National (4.05pm) has been won by Vicente for the last two years and Paul Nicholls nine-year-old was a late non-runner last Saturday with this race in mind.

Although he is 4lbs higher in the weights than 12 months ago, he will surely go close again now that the glorious weather has been drying conditions up at Ayr.

His biggest danger according to the market may well come from a horse who carries the owners same colours.

Vintage Clouds is only a pound higher than when fourth in the Welsh National at Christmas and looks sure to run well in a race in which he finished seventh last year.

However, Im going to take them on with a couple of horses trained by the up-and-coming Neil Mulholland – DOING FINE at 14/1 with Paddy Power and THE YOUNG MASTER at 20/1 with Coral.

The former is another who will relish the drying ground and looks to have been laid out for this race.

He hasnt been seen since finishing fourth to Benbens at Sandown back in early December and he has slipped back down to a mark of 135.

Last year he was at his best in April, winning impressively at Cheltenham before going on to run a cracker to be fifth in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

The 10-year-old seems to go particularly well fresh, so there isnt too much of a concern that he hasnt been seen for some time.

He was staying on again at the death over 3m5f at Sandown last April which means he is well worth a tilt at this four-mile contest.

As for his stablemate The Young Master, he sneaks in here right at the foot of the weights as his handicap mark has collapsed down to 132.

That is almost 20lbs lower than at Cheltenham last year when he ran a solid race to be sixth in the Ultima Handicap.

Admittedly he hasnt shown much this season, but his first run back since wind surgery at this years Cheltenham Festival definitely gives grounds for optimism.

He ran on really well over an inadequate trip in the Kim Muir to finish sixth to Missed Approach, suggesting a tilt at four miles could be ideal.

At 20/1, he is just too big a price not to warrant small each-way support for a stable in good form.

Davy Russell will be trying to follow up last Saturdays heroics aboard Tiger Roll on another Gordon Elliott runner in Fagan.

It would take a braver man than me to rule out anything trained by that man even with doubts over his stamina.

We wont know the final field for the Scottish Champion Hurdle (2.55pm) until later this morning and I will be intrigued to see whether Nicky Hendersons VERDANA BLUE features among the declarations.

The more the ground dries out, the better her chances and she caught the eye when not knocked about on bad ground in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last time.

She looks worth supporting at a best-priced 7/1 and Ill also be having a small each-way saver on her stablemate CHARLI PARCS at 20/1.

Hes another lurking on a dangerous mark who will relish the sounder surface.

With the Henderson team in such great form, it may also pay to side with his BURBANK in the staying handicap hurdle (4.40pm).

The handicapper has taken a chance with him by dropping him another pound on the back of what was actually a decent run in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham last month.

Down south, Newbury stages its first Flat meeting of the year, which promises to be a very interesting card.

The highlight is the Group Three Greenham Stakes (3.10pm), where surely Expert Eye is going to be hard to beat.

Sir Michael Stoutes son of Acclamation was hugely impressive in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, but then a bitter disappointment when trailing in last of nine runners in the Dewhurst Stakes.

Although hell probably win, Im not willing to back him at odds-on on his first start, so will focus on the Greatwood Spring Cup (3.45pm) instead.

There are plenty of these big mile handicaps during the season and Addeybb couldnt have been any more stylish when bolting up in last months Lincoln Handicap.

That was a performance that screamed Group horse, so its pretty hard not to be interested in Charlie Hills AFAAK in tomorrows race at around the 8/1 mark.

On his last start back in October, the Oasis Dream colt was just half a length behind Addeybb in the Silver Cambridgeshire.

That was an excellent run and from a mark of 97 he could prove too good for this field.

Hills string also seem to be more forward than normal, which only increases confidence in Afaaks chances.


Verdana Blue e/w 2.55pm Ayr

Charli Parcs e/w 2.55pm Ayr

Afaak e/w 3.45pm Newbury

Doing Fine e/w 4.05pm Ayr

The Young Master e/w 4.05pm Ayr

Burbank e/w 4.40pm Ayr

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