AYR will provide a searching test on very deep ground over the next three days and this summer’s formbook is likely to be turned on its head. Soft ground performers are the order of the day and BUONARROTI (5.20) fits the bill in the concluding 1m 5f handicap.
Declan Carroll’s gelding sluiced through the mud over 1m 7f here last October, easily disposing of Bodacious Name, one of his chief rivals today. Buonarroti had more than two lengths to spare over fourth-placed Bodacious Name and is a whopping 17lb better off. The reason for the big weight pull is Buonarroti’s indifferent form this summer but he looked more like his old self at York earlier this month when fifth to Le Maitre Chat.
Mick Channon has booked Franny Norton for three-year-old Beer With The Boys and this son of Nathaniel is bred to appreciate soft ground.
Feature race is the William Hill Doonside Cup and MORANDO (3.35) represents the very much in form yard of Andrew Balding. He has form on heavy ground, running third to Ballet Concerto in a Group 3 at Haydock last September, while a repeat of Morando’s third to Crystal Ocean and Fabricate in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown in April may give him the edge over Aspetor. Roger Charlton’s three-year-old found the track too lively at Chantilly and had looked smart previously when winning at Windsor and Goodwood.
TRUTH OR DARE (2.00), a clear-cut winner at Goodwood on soft last October, finally gets his ground this season and could well defy top weight. James Bethell’s gelding has run once before at Ayr, finishing a close second to Century Dream last July. Danny Tudhope is a good booking.
Richard Fahey usually bags a hatful of winners at this meeting and Right Action has an obvious chance on his Doncaster Victory at the Lincoln fixture back in March. Tawny Port, winner of a nursery at this meeting two years ago, is another worth considering.
Recent Carlisle scorer Mustaqbal will be all the rage for the mile handicap under a 6lb penalty but a chance is taken on old boy SILVERY MOON (2.30) at much bigger odds.
Tim Easterby’s 11-year-old has a tremendous record on soft ground and has plummeted in the weights. He has been ridden this season but either an apprentice or lady rider, and his regular winning jockey David Allan takes the reins this time. Silvery Moon’s record at Ayr reads 1-1-4-1 from four visits, including beating Father Bertie in a Class 4 handicap at the 2016 September festival.
CARNAGEO (3.05) should give his backers a good spin. The five-year-old ran with credit (fifth) behind Cornborough at Chester last Saturday and chased home Markham here last month. Carnageo had Chinese Spirit back in fourth and is 8lb better off with that Scottish-trained rival. Chinese Spirit has won on heavy at Ayr in the past and should go well but top weight Weld Al Emarat is probably the one to beat. Mick Easterby’s gelding was backed as if defeat was out of the question at Chepstow but Kenstone proved too strong. Weld Al Emarat ran third to Right Action at Doncaster (soft) in March off the same rating.
Stanley had placed form for Jonjo O’Neill over a mile and returns to that trip after being asked to go 12 furlongs at Hamilton on his first start for Keith Dalgleish. The handicapper has obliged by dropping Stanley a couple of pounds and he should be prominent.
The1m 2f fillies’ handicap is trappy and BOLLIN JOAN (4.10) is a tentative selection on the back of a 5lb rise for beating Island Story at Redcar. Dalgleish has made a triple entry and Che Bella may be the pick of the trio, although this longer 1m 2f journey is a worry on heavy ground.