• Tue 17 May, 2022
  • 19:03 BST
  • 15:03 EST (BST-4)
  • 21:03 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ayr and Newbury on Saturday. View selections below.


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MAJOR JUMBO (3.50) has been dining at the top table all season and should have a leading role to play in the 25-runner William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.

He wasn’t disgraced behind Hello Youmzain (seventh) in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock a fortnight ago and the five-year-old bolted up at Chester on his previous outing. Trainer Kevin Ryan is seeking his fifth big-race victory (Brando, Captain Ramius, Our Jonathan and Advanced) and stall 20 could be ideal as Major Jumbo is drawn next to ante-post favourite Buffer Zone representing Ireland.

Ger Lyons sends Buffer Zone out again only six days after landing a 24-runner Premier Handicap at the Curragh by almost two lengths. Gulliver was back in third and is 4lb better off, while Summerghand’s fourth to Khaadem in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood gives him a chance. David O’Meara also saddles last week’s Portland Handicap fourth Arecibo, a sprinter well treated racing off his old handicap mark.

KYNREN (2.00) consistently runs out of his skin without winning but David Barron has found him his best opportunity for some time in this mile handicap. His third to What’s The Story and Vale Of Kent at York’s Ebor fixture was yet another fine effort and although Kynren enjoys some cut underfoot, he finished a respectable sixth in last year’s Cambridgeshire on fast ground.

There are four cracking ITV races at Newbury, where FOREST OF DEAN (3.30) stands out in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap. John Gosden’s colt has won three of his last four races and the manner of his most recent victory in the Sky Bet Handicap at York marks him down as an improving three-year-old. Forest of Dean was installed ante-post favourite for next weekend’s Cambridgeshire but runs here instead.

Likewise, DAKOTA GOLD (1.45) is swerving a previously considered run in the Ayr Gold Cup to line up in this Group 3 sprint. He is on a five-timer for Michael Dods and Connor Beasley and is fancied to pass his toughest test to date.

DESERT ENCOUNTER (2.20), a hold-up performer who can be a bit tricky at times, has benefited from two Jamie Spencer master-classes to score at Goodwood and Windsor, latterly lowering the colours of useful Matterhorn. Main rival Pondus is more of a soft-ground horse, having chased home Addeybb at Haydock (heavy) and Fox Chairman at Newbury (soft).

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Tally Ho

Alan

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NB. All odds shown are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.

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