Simon Holt: Southfield Royale in Scottish National

Last Updated April 22 2017, 15:00Racing

Top commentator Simon Holt previews the Scottish Grand National at Ayr and the Spring Cup at Newbury.

Recommended bets: Simon Holt


1pt win Southfield Royale in 3.55 Ayr at best morning price

1pt win Vintage Clouds in 3.55 Ayr at best morning price

1pt e.w. Banksea in 3.40 Newbury at best morning price

Click here for our transparent tipping record.

SOUTHFIELD ROYALE, a fresh horse with an excellent chance on past form, is taken to cap a fine season for trainer Neil Mulholland and jockey Noel Fehily, in Saturday's Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

The seven-year-old has run just twice this season, running flat at Doncaster on a belated seasonal debut at Doncaster in late January before falling at around half-way in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham.

However, if one trusts that Southfield Royale is still capable of reproducing some of his efforts of last season, notably a second to recent Betfred Bowl winner Tea For Two at Kempton and a fourth behind the Gold Cup class Minella Rocco and Native River in the Festival four-miler, then he must have excellent claims down 6lb from the time of those efforts.

Indeed, he looks potentially very well handicapped and, with the ground no problem and stamina assured, his chance is compelling provided, of course, he retains that ability.

The other horse on my short-list is VINTAGE CLOUDS, like the selection just a seven-year-old (and two horses of this age group have won in the last four renewals), who has run some solid races in staying chases this season despite falling in two of his last three starts.

Sue Smith's promising grey was only four lengths off the lead when hitting the deck two out in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Festival last time and was quite a close third when falling three out behind Bristol De Mai and Otago Trail at Haydock in January.

In-between, Vintage Clouds ran another good race at Haydock to finish third behind Vieux Lion Rouge and Blaklion in the Grand National Trial (Kruzhlinin sixth, Warrantor seventh, Vicente ninth) so, with a clean round of jumping, he looks sure to be thereabouts.

Missed Approach and Arpege D'Alene, second and fourth behind Tiger Roll in this year's Cheltenham four-miler, clearly have good chances on their efforts there as does Premier Bond, a creditable third in the Kim Muir, but all of these need to prove they are none the worse for the extreme demands of the Festival.

At Newbury, the Be Wiser Insurance Spring Cup provides it's usual punting poser, but BANKSEA looked a horse with the potential to be better than a handicapper last season and, if that is the case, must go well.

Luca Cumani's gelding has twice run well first time out in the past and, after winning at Pontefract over a stiff mile-and-a-quarter, was narrowly denied in decent mile handicaps at York and Doncaster in August/September.

Favourite for the Cambridgeshire on his final start, he could never land a blow from the possibly the less favoured side of the course in a race which seemed to suit prominent racers.

It will be surprising if Banksea cannot progress further this season and, although Cumani has yet to have a winner this season from just 11 runners, most of them have run well.

Posted at 1310 BST on 21/04/17.


Most Read Racing

Check out Ben Linfoot's Value Bet selections1

Value Bet: Lucky to strike

Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections for the Spring Cup at Newbury and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.

Sizing Tennessee - ticks a lot of the right boxes in the Scottish National2

Scottish Grand National guide

David Ord's horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's Coral Scottish Grand National, with Colin Tizzard tipped to land the Ayr showpiece.

Check out Oli Bell's Yankee for Saturday3

Oli Bell: Saturday Yankee

Oli Bell identifies his four best bets across Ayr's valuable Saturday card to produce his latest weekend Yankee.

Expert Eye4

Market Movers: Expert uneasy

Hey Gaman has come in for support in the Greenham in the face of a market drift for Expert Eye - get all the latest movers and Price Boosts from Sky Bet here.

Silsol has plenty in his favour at Ayr5

Simon Holt: Sil solid each-way option

Leading commentator Simon Holt provided Newmarket winners at 14/1 and 7/2 during this week's Craven meeting - don't miss his weekend preview.

Most Read Racing

Check out Ben Linfoot's Value Bet selections1

Value Bet: Lucky to strike

Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections for the Spring Cup at Newbury and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.

Sizing Tennessee - ticks a lot of the right boxes in the Scottish National2

Scottish Grand National guide

David Ord's horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's Coral Scottish Grand National, with Colin Tizzard tipped to land the Ayr showpiece.

Check out Oli Bell's Yankee for Saturday3

Oli Bell: Saturday Yankee

Oli Bell identifies his four best bets across Ayr's valuable Saturday card to produce his latest weekend Yankee.

Expert Eye4

Market Movers: Expert uneasy

Hey Gaman has come in for support in the Greenham in the face of a market drift for Expert Eye - get all the latest movers and Price Boosts from Sky Bet here.

Silsol has plenty in his favour at Ayr5

Simon Holt: Sil solid each-way option

Leading commentator Simon Holt provided Newmarket winners at 14/1 and 7/2 during this week's Craven meeting - don't miss his weekend preview.

Next Race Off
14:45 Kenilworth
1
(9)
Northern Corner
J: Sandile Mbhele
5
(8)
Pillar Of Hercules
J: Grant Van Niekerk
4
(3)
Al Wahed
J: Louis Burke
3
(7)
Dollar Tractor
J: C Orffer
7
(11)
Forest Prince
J: Greg Cheyne
6
(6)
What A Winner
J: A Domeyer
2
(4)
Virtue
J: Bernard Fayd'Herbe
11
(1)
Victorious Captain
J: M J Byleveld
8
(10)
Pata Pata
J: Donovan Dillon
10
(2)
Love To Fly
J: Piet Botha
9
(5)
Metorite
J: Grant Behr

Racing Tips

Check out Ben Linfoot's Value Bet selections

Value Bet: Lucky to strike

Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections for the Spring Cup at Newbury and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.

Silsol has plenty in his favour at Ayr

Simon Holt: Sil solid each-way option

Leading commentator Simon Holt provided Newmarket winners at 14/1 and 7/2 during this week's Craven meeting - don't miss his weekend preview.

Check out Oli Bell's Yankee for Saturday

Oli Bell: Saturday Yankee

Oli Bell identifies his four best bets across Ayr's valuable Saturday card to produce his latest weekend Yankee.