Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Ayr and Newbury. View selections below
The Ayr Gold Cup is the big betting race of the weekend and we are paying five places on the race at BetVictor; Jack Dexter (8/1) and Hawkeyethenoo (16/1) represent Jim Goldie and are bidding to become the first Scottish-trained winner of the race since Roman Holiday back in 1975. Both have every chance but in a wide-open event the pin has come down on Khubala (3.50) for Hugo Palmer. Drawn in stall 23 there are few confirmed front-runners on his side of the track but as long as he gets a decent tow into the race he can swoop fast and late.
Ayr Gold Cup: ¼ odds first 5 prices from betVictor:
Jack Dexter 8/1
Gabriels Lad 12/1
Captain Ramius 12/1
Irish raider Remember You (3.15) is progressing nicely and will be difficult to beat in the Gp 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes for David Wachman especially as the ground might be too testing for impressive Goodwood winner Valonia who has the plum draw next to the stands’ rail.
The selection won her maiden on soft ground at Cork last time before finishing runner up to the unbeaten colt Great White Eagle of Aidan O’Brien; back against her own sex she looks to have a leading chance with her ability to handle soft ground guaranteed.
Sharestan has been off the course since finishing down the field to St Nicholas Abbey in the Sheema Classic at Meydan in the spring; he will love the ground and his absence from the track is not a concern given Godolphin can certainly get them fit at home, but may have to give best to First Mohican (2.05) of Lady Cecil who will also appreciate underfoot conditions and the drop back to 10 furlongs having disappointed over further at Deauville last time.
Newbury play host to an excellent card and I take Kassiano (1.50) to repel the significant threat of Camborne in the Group 3 Legacy Cup for Godolphin; the selection might not have beaten a great deal on the July course last time but he was visually very impressive and I decided at the time that I would support him until he meets with defeat this late summer/autumn.
Camborne sprinted away from his rivals in handicap company at Doncaster last time in a muddling race but he showed a smart turn of foot and is a big danger with the drop back in trip of little concern.
Last year’s Derby runner up Main Sequence returned to something like his best at Kempton last time, but he has been a disappointment since finishing 5 lengths behind Camelot last June and is best watched at present. Gifted Girl was no match for Dank in the Beverly D at Arlington last month but she is a most progressive filly although might be best served back against her own gender.
The Mill Reef looks a sub-standard renewal; the only unbeaten colt in the field is Hannon’s Shamshon (2.30) and he can make it three out of three with Frankie Dettori in the plate. A winner at Sandown on debut the colt was a cosy winner in listed class at Deauville last month and certainly deserves to take his place in the line-up. He needs to improve again upped in class but the others look much of a muchness and if there is a star in the field he could be the one.
I was considering giving Haafaguinea another chance in the valuable 10f handicap but preference goes to the Irish raider Saxo Jack (2.55) who has only had four starts but won his last two in the manner of a most progressive animal. He has yet to race on soft ground but is bred to be at least as effective on a slow surface and gets the nod in a hot race.