When its Ayr Gold Cup day you know the nights are closing in and the flat season is coming to an end but this great days racing makes it all seem right. With the season change comes Champions Day, The Arc and the Breeders Cup so we really do have a lot of quality flat racing still to come starting with 8 live races today.
1:45 NBY Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes (Group 3) (Formerly Known As The Arc Trial) Cl1 1m3f5y
Strangely only one 3yo has won this race in the last 10 years so that confirms even more to us that Robin of Navan and Algometer have it all to do. On what we have seen Tashaar would be an unlikely winner and Ayrad just seems to struggle at this level so it becomes a two horse race. Dartmouth who looked good when beating Highland Reel and then disappointed in the King George and The Grey Gatsby who simply hasnt shone this year but may well do if he can find better ground – this isn’t his. It’s Dartmouth’s race to lose.
3 units win Dartmouth
2:00 AYR William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes (Group 3) (For The Ayrhire Agricultural Challenge Cup) Cl1 6f
Our favoured few are Stormy Clouds who looked great two runs ago and then struggled last time out. Shamsaya for Simon Crisford who can do no wrong and has had a brilliant 1st year as a trainer with his limited stable and knows a good horse when he sees one. Rosebride for whom the profile of her racing looks ideal to win this race, Partitia who impressed us at Chester and looked a good horse in the making and Bletchley for Ralph Beckett who has raced in top company since debut. Like all good handicaps it’s a puzzle and with no favourite having won this race in the last 10 years we will take two against this quality field.
1 unit e/w Bletchley
1 unit e/w Partitia
2:15 NBY Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 6f8y
Good horses win the Mill Reef and it’s possible that Mokarris is one of those. If he is a good horse then Simon Crisford will know and for that reason he has put him in at this level. Global Applause looked like that really good horse when beating Mehmas and others but simply hasn’t reproduced that form and it looks like the Crisford has his beating as he does of Legendary Lunch the other contender. However, given the ground we will side with Global Applause
2 units e/w Global Applause
2:35 AYR William Hill Ayr Silver Cup Handicap Cl2 6f
The Silver and Gold Cup’s at Ayr are races where horses need to thrive with a bit of cut underfoot, be capable of staying 7 furlongs but have the pace to lay up handy over 6f. The draw in terms of placement on the course is less important than being where the pace is and with that in mind we have chosen two for the Silver Cup. The first is Intibaah. He has run well over 7f and has performed to his highest level over 6f with cut in the ground. Two runs back he was second in a good race on heavy ground over 5f at Nottingham before not running quite as well in France. He has Fran Berry on board and we think a high draw is the right place to be. The second horse we will back in the race is Les Eyre’s Intense Style. Again a horse who has run over 7f and goes on soft ground. His second last time out at Goodwood was a good run and signalled a return to form. They both look capable of a decent run in these ultra-competitive handicaps.
1 unit e/w Intibaah
1 unit e/w Intense Style
2:50 NBY Dubai Duty Free Handicap Cl2 1m2f6y
The rain softened ground rules a number of horse out of this contest but two who we think will run well on the ground and over this trip are, first of all, last time out winner Lord Ben Stack who put away another strong rival in this race, Muzdawaj last time out and looked good doing it. He should have no fears with the ground and his riders 7lb claim looks great value and could make the difference in a very tight handicap. Sometimes on heavier ground class comes through and if that’s the case then Bermondsey has to be in the reckoning. Luca’s horses are running well and he knows a thing or two about winning handicaps as does his jockey Adam Kirdby
1 unit e/w Bermondsey
1 unit e/w Muzdawaj
3:10 AYR William Hill Supports Clic Sargent Ayrshire Handicap Cl2 1m
Sound Advice has been unbeatable at Chester but this is not Chester and he has now got quite a lot of weight to carry. This is perfect for Highland Colori who just tries his heart out every time he runs. Roger Varian’s Morando looks ideal for this contest and the only concern might be the ground but he seems to have been saved for this time of year after winning a good race at Chester. Hayley Bop was also an easy winner at Chester in an ultra-competitive handicap. Its not very original but the Varian horse looks a good thing.
2 units e/w Morando.
3:25 NBY Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 5f34y
Ridge Ranger was fabulous at York and almost as good at Pontefract and over this trip, on slightly softer ground he will be a real handful. It’s likely he will be too strong for Boom the Groom and if he can account for Alpha Delphini, who isn’t racing on optimum conditions then next stop is bound to be the Abbaye. Let’s go along for the ride with Eric Alston, his trainer and cheer him on.
2 units e/w Ridge Ranger
3:45 AYR William Hill Ayr Gold Cup (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 6f More4
Isn’t Growl a short price relative to the rest of this field? Now he goes on soft, is just as good over 7f and runs big at 6f so it’s no shock but there are 24 others against him and they normally go about 7-8/1 the field not 5/1. Having said that connections have tasted success in this race and if he was 8-10/1 we would be backing him but not at 5’s.
We think that Jack Dexter might just come good in this race. He threatened 2 runs back and he now has perfect conditions having dropped about half a stone in the weights. G Force is another to consider as he ran perfectly well behind the Happy Prince who has really franked that form since at a higher level. Our third one we want running for us is perennial tip – Poyle Vinnie. This gives us two on one side of the track and one on the other. His 3rd last time out shaped like he will really enjoy this straight track after the turns of Chester and he has the class to win this race.
1 unit e/w Jack Dexter
1 unit e/w G Force
1 unit e/w Poyle Vinnie