Early Bird – 22nd May

2:55 Nottingham – Viceroy Mac

Yet to get nearer than 2 1/2 lengths from victory in six races to date though has shown promise on half of those occasions. None more so than when catching the eye at Epsom last year when clearly not handling the track, running all over the place until finally picking up well and staying on strongly though all too late. Was off the track for about five weeks after before running at Lingfield, running a stinker, probably not enjoying the surface as they then kept it out of the a/w season, eventually returning in a class 4 handicap at Ascot where it ran better than its finishing position suggests. Should find things easier here, ground is good, a couple of potential well handicapped rivals but this is proven and should go close again.

1pt win Viceroy Mac @ 15/2 Bet365 and Paddy Power

3:35 Ayr – Royal Duchess

A four time winner over course and distance though not getting any younger at the age of 8. Failed to win last year though but has meant she has slipped down the weights. Interestingly she is best when fresh. Her record over course and distance when racing inside 17 days or less is 0/7 with just one place compared with when 18 days or more off which is 4/8 with one 2nd. That record improves to 21114 when ridden by an apprentice jockey, which we have on once more. Not raced in this class since when winning over this course and distance off this exact mark back in June 2015 whilst it is almost three years to the day since it won the first of two on the bounce. Held up and never got in the race last time, it has had the ideal break. The concern is the draw where she may need a bit of luck from stall 1. I think back at her favourite track she is a decent e/w bet.

0.75pt e/w Royal Duchess @ 16/1 Bet365, WillHill and BetVictor