Horse Racing: With leading pundit Charlie McCann. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Newbury, Newmarket, Wolves and Ayr, including the Ayr Gold Cup.
The big betting race of the weekend is the William Hill sponsored Ayr Gold Cup the richest sprint handicap in Europe. Trainer Dandy Nicholls has saddled five of the last ten renewals and the Yorkshire handler once again has a strong hand with five of the twenty-seven runner field.
Dandy’s son Adrian rides three-year-old Victoire De Lyphar (3.20) and the last winner from the classic generation was Funfair Wane (also trained by Nicholls) back in 2022. He has been raised 4lbs since finishing runner up to stablemate Joseph Henry (runs earlier in the Silver Cup) in the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood but looks well drawn in stall 24 especially as front-runner Jonny Mudball is drawn next door and looks sure to make it a furious gallop.
The progressive Poet’s Place was well on top at the end of the Portland at Doncaster last week and remains potentially very well treated despite his 5lb penalty. Trainer David Barron suggested on television mid-week that his 5-y-o was considered potentially the best horse he had ever had back as a two-year-old, but a series of niggles meant he didn’t see the track until four days short of his fifth birthday.
His stall in 12 is hardly ideal but he is considered the main danger to the selection. Indeed if the Silver Cup, which is run just over an hour before the feature, suggests a draw in the middle is not a disadvantage then I would recommend we split stakes.
Ayr Gold Cup: 1/4 the first 5); prices from StanJames.com
6 Poet’s Place
8 Victoire De Lyphar
9 Jonny Mudball
16 Evens And Odds
16 Signor Peltro
20 Jimmy Styles
Ragsah (2.45) will appreciate the slight drop back in trip in the Gp 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes having shot clear at the distance when runner up ( subsequently placed third) at Doncaster. Rimth looks sure to go off favourite, having finished third in the Lowther on her penultimate start, but the hope is that Frankie can get back to winning ways on this half-sister to the brilliant Dubai Millennium.
At Newbury last week’s facile winner Senate is likely to be all the rage for the Duty Free Stakes but despite doing us a favour last week he is reluctantly overlooked with the drop back in trip and poor draw negatives.
A chance is taken on Almiqdaad (3.05) who won the corresponding race last year and the blinkers that he has worn on his last three starts are dispensed with. Michael Jarvis has his stable in rude health at present and with a favourable draw he can reward each way support.
Tazeez will be a short price to land the conditions event at 4.15 but I hope he sets the race up for Fair Trade who hasn’t had the best of luck since winning a decent maiden over a mile back in the spring. I thought he would be suited by a step up in trip at Salisbury last time and the hope is that Tazeez gives him a target to take aim at inside inside the final furlong.
Newmarket stages a fascinating Cesarewitch trial and if Theola (3.30) settles in the first time visor she can come home too strongly for her rivals as she is an out-and-out stayer who will appreciate this severe test. I can easily ignore her penultimate start at Goodwood and she was finishing best of all over 2m at York last time. The additional couple of furlongs will help and as long as she adapts to the first time head-gear she must be a leading player.
There is a valuable sales race which Sir Reginald looks sure to go off favourite having suggested he was crying out for a step up to 7f in a similar contest at Doncaster last time. Owned by Channel 4’s Jim McGrath he must go close but I was taken with the winning debut of Roman Eagle (2.55) and he can maintain his unbeaten record. The selection holds entries in all the major end-of-season two-year-old races but connections have been swayed by the £111k to the winner!!
William Buick travels to Wolverhampton for one ride tonight; Biographical (8.20) is in the ownership of Princess Haya of Jordan and whilst he may not become one of the stable starts he showed plenty of promise on debut and is bred to appreciate the surface.
For all you weekend racing check out StanJames.com