Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on Saturday at Ayr and Newbury. View selections below.
Tartan terror JACK DEXTER (3.50) can become a home hero by landing the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup. No Scottish-trained horse has managed to replicate Roman Warrior’s historic triumph under 10-stone back in 1975 and Jack Dexter will also carry the No 1 saddlecloth as he has been burdened with top weight. Jim Goldie’s home-bred four-year-old hasn’t been seen since lifting the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle at the end of June, bypassing Group 1 targets like the Nunthorpe Stakes and Haydock Sprint Cup to wait for this prestigious contest in his own back yard. Jack Dexter sluiced through the mud 12 months ago to bag the Bronze Cup and Goldie is hoping the track doesn’t dry out too much for his rising star. The trainer has another string to his bow in Hawkeyethenoo, with Kieren Fallon an eyecatching booking, but the seven-year-old is at his best on a sounder surface. There are a whole posse of dangers lying in wait should Jack Dexter underperform and a saver is recommended on Andrew Balding’s Highland Colori, beaten a whisker by Mass Rally in last year’s Silver Cup and the mount of apprentice sensation Oisin Murphy.
The William Hill Doonside Cup is always a classy affair and Lady Cecil sends FIRST MOHICAN (2.05) on the journey from Newmarket after two unsuccessful cross-Channel raids on Deauville last month. Both were Group races over a longer trip and this represents a slightly easier test for her useful ex-handicapper. Tom Queally’s mount will welcome the return to 10 furlongs, the distance of his stylish win at York on easy ground in May.
The Silver Cup cavalry charge may throw up a vital clue to the benefit of the draw and COLONEL MAK (2.40) boasts an outstanding record at this fixture. Three years ago David Barron’s sprinter mopped up this very race from an identical draw (stall seven) and has finished fourth and fifth in the last two runnings of the Gold Cup. Soft ground is ideal and Barron also saddles Pearl Ice, a winner at Doncaster last week.
The Yorkshire trainer, already on the scoreboard at Ayr this week, could bring the curtain down on a successful cross-border assault by landing the finale with SIRVINO (5.35). The step up to 1m 6f at Carlisle so late in his career was something of a surprise but it proved a masterstroke as he fairly scooted in by a wide margin. Sirvino, who scored on his only previous visit to Ayr, missed an engagement at Yarmouth on Thursday, so the hint is worth taking. Goldie’s course winner Jonny Delta would be worthy of each-way support if starting at double-digit odds.
On an excellent Newbury card, Godolphin’s FIGURE OF SPEECH (2.20) has sound claims in the Mill Reef Stakes. Charlie Appleby’s juvenile failed to justify favouritism in the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, finishing only fourth after a sloppy start, and is taken to reverse placings with runner-up Cable Bay.
Compare horse racing odds and bet at the best prices