Ayr's fixture last Saturday took a modest third place behind the classy cards at Wetherby, Ascot and Down Royal but that won't have worried either Maurice Barnes or Tristan Davidson.

As mentioned last week, both local trainers were hopeful about the winning chances of Knockoura in the novice chase and Justatenner in the three-mile hurdle.

They were right. Knockoura had advertised his talents with his eye-catching second to Windsor Avenue at Sedgefield and he boosted his growing reputation by jumping boldly and leading throughout at Ayr.

Harry Reed was at his tactical best on Justatenner, producing him from off the pace at the exact moment to bring his stamina into full cry. The splendidly consistent Justatenner played his part with typical tenacity and one can only hope for reasonable reaction from the handicapper.

Jimmy Moffatt's The Steward adopted his usual positive tactics in the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial, but on this more galloping track and in this better company he understandably tired and dropped back from the home turn.

Monday sees the action back at Carlisle with the Graduation Chase the feature event of the afternoon. The five-day entries for the meeting will be revealing and possible runners from either Brian Ellison and Nicky Richards will be of particular interest.

Meanwhile, both Kelso and Aintree provide the attention today and perhaps because of the proximity of Monday's card at Carlisle there are very sparse entries from Cumbrian stables. Nicky Richards has Bernardelli and Western Ruler pencilled in for the chases at Kelso and the former has a sound record at the Border course.

The Turf season on the Flat used to go out with a bang at Doncaster's November meeting. Now, alas, it subsides with a whimper. Some interest is retained through the November Handicap, though, and Keith Dalgliesh can seal yet another fine campaign with success from his genuine soft-ground handicapper Alright Sunshine.