Race 6 – Ayr 1:20am
10. Maleficent Queen: Produced a career-best on her return from over seven months off the track at Pontefract last month, bringing up a four-timer in the process and giving the impression she could yet be competitive at this level. She looked to have improved significantly with another winter under her belt that day, keeping things simple on the front end and staying on powerfully when asked for her effort inside the final two furlongs.
A winner over this C&D on her penultimate start, she has 4 lb to find with Lustrous on Timeform ratings, but that rival doesn’t win as often as she perhaps should and Maleficent Queen can gain some valuable black type with a first win in this company.
Race 8 – Ayr 2:20am
1. Ghostly Arc: Was a brave winner of his most recent outing at Musselburgh nine days ago, appearing more at ease dropped back in trip and showing a good attitude to hold off the persistent challenge of the runner-up. He also seemed to appreciate quicker ground than he had previously encountered and a reproduction of the fair form he showed that day would leave his rivals with 8 lb to find on Timeform ratings.
He doesn’t appear to have any excuses in near identical conditions here and, with a 6 lb penalty partially offset by the claim of the promising Adam McNamara, Ghostly Arc is fancied to follow up with a defeat of the formerly useful Norville.
Race 5 – Kempton 4:55am
2. Important Point: Has plenty to find on the bare form of his maiden victory at Wolverhampton in October, but he could no more than win decisively on his racecourse debut and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he proved much better than an opening mark of 85. He showed his inexperience when racing freely on the leader’s shoulder as the field passed the post for the first time, but it was hard not to be impressed with how he drew clear in the final furlong.
He should prove more streetwise with that run under his belt and – a half-brother to the smart Zip Top – Important Point can see off the attentions of Fly to give his in-form yard a fifth winner from their last 14 runners.