JUMPS racing returns to Ayr on Monday after a five and a half month absence and as I touched on last week we are in for a quick fire double with Tennent’s Raceday on November 2 following on from October Finale Raceday which kicks off the jumps campaign on Monday.

The near seven months of jumps action at Ayr comprises 11 meetings stretching through to next April and the Coral Scottish Grand National It’s very interesting to note that Nicky Richards, who was leading trainer at Ayr last season, has been fairly low key in recent weeks and I’m fully expecting him to have plenty of runners over our next two meetings. One horse that Nicky will be pinning a lot of hopes on over the coming months is Glinger Flame who ran a couple of really promising acres at Ayr last season and then racked up three wins on the bounce all at Hexham- one each in March, April and May. The seven year-old has a couple of entries at Cheltenham on Friday – one in a novice hurdle and the other in a handicap hurdle and if he runs in either he should be backed. I fully expect to see Glinger Flame back at Ayr in the coming months perhaps at our January 2 meeting, or even at the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival as I fully expect the gelding to develop into one of the best young hurdlers in the north. Other horses from the Richards stable worth following include Scottish Grand National winner Takingrisks and Chidswell who ran some big races last year and could win a decent prize or two this season. I also enjoy seeing Nicky’s runners in the national hunt Flat races at Ayr and at our early November meeting last year he introduced the highly thought-of Ribble Valley to land the bumper. This horse subsequently won another similar race at Ayr in January and hasn’t been seen since. If fit and well he is another Richards horse to note. Trainers hoping to get off to a flying start at Ayr’s early jumps meetings include Mike Smith, who always produces a few horses to win at the Craigie track in winter. Last season one of Mike’s stars was the chaser Las Tunas who won at Ayr in January and had a couple of chase wins at Wetherby. A really nice sort, this French bred gelding can develop into a very useful handicapper over the large obstacles and I think will prove to be a star of the northern jumping circuit in 2019-2020. Lucinda Russell is another trainer with her horses primed for some autumn meetings and there was a lot to like about Le Frank’s win at Carlisle last week. This seven year-old could be upped in class and declared for the two mile Class 3 chase at our Tennent’s Raceday in November.