The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is one of the most valuable and prestigious handicaps of the year and we at victorchandler.com are betting ¼ odds 5 places on this cracking betting heat.
The draw was screened live by Racing UK earlier in the week and, whilst the statistics in recent years suggest the draw is of little consequence, it was soon apparent that a high draw was preferred by the majority of connections.
I disagree and was pleased that trainer Richard Fahey, who reportedly walked the course on Wednesday evening, felt that the far side was at an advantage and placed his horses accordingly.
My two against the field are Irish raider Croisultan (3.20) who bounced back to form in Group company at the Curragh last weekend and Mac’s Power with marginal preference for the former.
Croisultan was no match for a rejuvenated Bewitched on Sunday, but that mare went off market leader for the Group 1 Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot earlier in the year and the recommendation is very well treated on his best form. There is plenty of rain forecast for Saturday and the more the merrier for his supporters. One note of caution he would appreciate an end-to-end gallop at the trip and there are few confirmed front-runners in the race.
Mac’s Power has form on soft ground but has never won on anything slower than good; he did “win” his race, however, in the Wokingham on soft ground when drawn on the wrong stand side and it would be some feat if trainer James Fanshawe saddled the winner of the Ayr Gold Cup to go with his Wokingham (Deacon Blues who runs at Newbury) victory back in June. Another who needs a strong gallop to be seen at his most effective he will need the gaps to appear if held up on the far rail.
Ayr Gold Cup: ¼ odds first 5: prices from
Mac’s Power 10/1
Pepper Lane 11/1
Colonel Mak 12/1
Eton Rifles 14/1
If Poet (4.30) reproduced the form of his length second to Workforce in the Brigadier Gerard he would be something to bet on in the Doonside Cup. He has failed to sparkle in subsequent starts but his last two wins have come in small fields and he should get an uncontested lead.
The last two winners of the 1m handicap line up again and Richard Fahey’s Extraterrestrial (5.00) is taken to add to his 2009 success. The selection won that race off a 7lb higher mark and although he has plenty to find with Tiger Reigns on last year’s running he is taken to score despite being 1lb out of the handicap.
Dangerous Midge was a most impressive winner of the Arc Trial at Newbury last year before going on to Churchill Downs where he ran away with the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Connections have obviously targeted the same couple of races this year but the ground is currently good to soft and more rain is forecast which would be against the Brian Meehan-trained runner.
On the likely ground a chance is taken on Passion For Gold (2.00) despite his inconsistent profile; he didn’t give his running at Royal Ascot last time (third quick run following long absence) but was a Group 1 winning juvenile on heavy ground and could bounce back.
The big betting race at Newbury is the Dubai Duty Free handicap over 10 furlongs. The first-time visor worked the oracle for Dhaamer last time but a 9lb rise looks harsh and there is no guarantee the headgear will work a second time.
Labarinto (3.05) looked a potential group horse in the making when winning at Glorious Goodwood last time and he could have been let in lightly with just a 4lb rise. The classic generation have won two of the last four renewals and Labarinto is just preferred to Kirthill one of two representatives from the yard of Luca Cumani who has saddled the winner of this valuable event in three of the last four renewals.
Deacon Blues (3.40) is hard to oppose despite dropping back in trip in the Group 3 sprint having been a late absentee from Haydock’s Group 1 event earlier in the month. There is plenty of pace in the race and Frankie Dettori, who was in the plate for his facile win at the Berkshire track on his penultimate start, is reunited. It will be interesting to see, if successful, whether connections target the Abbeye at Longchamp next month.
There are two valuable but ordinary looking sales races at Newmarket and the hope is that it is a good day for Irish raiders with Alkazim (2.55) getting the nod for David Wachman in the 7f event. Having finished runner up in all three starts to date many will question his fortitude but he can take the cash back to Ireland with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Balty Boys considered best of the home challenge.
Montparnasse (3.30) didn’t appear to get home in the corresponding Cesarewitch Trial last year as a three-year-old but he has recently joined the yard of Mark Johnston and he is 10lb lower than last year. It is possible he is not an out and out stayer but he got the 2m at Ripon well enough earlier in the season and the hope is that he was just a bit immature when attempting this marathon distance last year.
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