DESPITE the poor weather I am really excited to be going along to Ayr for day 2 of their William Hill Ayr Gold Cup meeting.
There are a whopping 8 races on the card with the split of the novice race into two divisions. As things stand 7 out of the 8 races have a minimum of 8 runners so most races have a good each way shape to them.
The absolutely crucial thing to bear in mind is that the ground has been soft and the rain continues to fall so we really need horses who like a bog if at all possible.
Both divisions of this race I found tricky and although Guildhall the favourite is appealing he looks a bit short for me for a horse who has yet to win and isn’t certain to go on the ground.
The alternative is MUST SEE THE DOC who carries a penalty today but that was for a nice win last time on soft ground at Donny where he quickened nicely to challenge and then beat a nicely bred colt in a head bobber. He looks too big a price today with the ground no issue.
A tricky race where Five Amarones appeals as the solid option but carries a penalty and hasn’t looked a world beater so far.
I suspect there will be one or two who can challenge him and I am going to have a small each way interest in CHAPMAN BILLY for Keith Dalgleish who ran respectably enough on debut and can be expected to improve significantly. There has also been a bit of money overnight for the horse which could be significant.
Pacino and Baldwin are amongst the runners here but there are unlikely to be any oscars handed out to the winner, just their share of the £25,000 prize pot. Of those two Hollywood horses Pacino is possibly the more attractive but I still expect him to have a Dog Day Afternoon.
The one that appeals to me, other than the favourite who looks to have a strong chance, is KOLOSSUS for Michael Dods and Connor Beasley.
Dods has a well-earned reputation for horses who prefer a bit of cut in the ground and Kolossus’ breeding suggests that won’t be an issue either. He has won over course and distance and ran well last time out too. He will need to improve again to win this competitive race but I think that is possible.
This is a great quality race and there are a few that I fancy so that is often a sign to tread carefully. I think the value selection is VINTAGE BRUT who apart from having a great name looked a fabulous colt in the making on his first two starts before failing to quite hit the top heights.
This return to the soft ground he encountered on his impressive maiden win will hopefully bring about a return to top form.
I like both Fairy Falcon and BEAUTY FILLY in this and I may end up backing both on track if I can get prices that I like. The selection for the time being though is Beauty Filly who really impressed last time at Hamilton in soft ground and although that was a lower grade than this she looks like she is going places.
Fairy Falcon has the services of Danny Tudhope and only won a small race at Thirsk last time out so on paper she has a lot to do. She has the potential though and it is significant that she goes for this and has been backed overnight having opened up at double figure prices. She is a bit short now for me to recommend a bet but if she drifts a bit again in the ring I will get involved each way.
The feature race of the day is the Bronze Cup and there are no shortage of runners with a strong chance.
I am going to take a chance with two runners in this one with plenty firms paying extra places each way. I like CAPTAIN JAMESON who will enjoy the ground and is quite consistent and I also fancy YES YOU who is in really good form and also will enjoy the ground. They are the two I’m taking against the field.
It’s between Arrowtown and Taxmeifyoucan I think but Dominating would also have a strong chance if returning to anything near his top form.
I can’t split them to be perfectly honest so I think I am just going to take a watching brief in this one. If you backed me into a corner I would probably say Arrowtown.
Rince Deireanach has an obvious chance in this but so does the favourite Make Me who is sure to finish in the frame again.
It’s not a race to invest too heavily in as it is the weakest race of the day in my opinion and has a few rogues in it that might spring a surprise if they are in the mood.
I am going to take a small chance each way on SHAZZAB who will return to the sort of ground that he really enjoyed at Pontefract almost a year ago to the day. He hasn’t done anything of note since then but if it turns out that he is all about the soft ground he is 6lb lower today than he was that day and he could make a mockery of this lot.
- 1.30pm – Must See The Doc – 3pt win (5-1, Betfair, Bet365, Paddy Power)
- 2.00pm – Chapman Billy – 1pt e/w (15-2, Bet365, 888Bet)
- 2.30pm – Kolossus – 2pt e/w (15-2, Bet365, BetVictor)
- 3.05pm – Vintage Brut – 2pt e/w (7-1, Betfair, SportingBet, Ladbrokes)
- 3.35pm – Beauty Filly – 2pt e/w (7-1, Ladbrokes – paying 4 places)
- 4.10pm – Captain Jameson – 2pt e/w (14-1, Bet365, William Hill both paying 5 places)
- 4.10pm – Yes You – 2pt e/w (18-1, William Hill, Betfred both paying 5 places)
- 4.45pm – No bet
- 5.20pm – Shazzab – 1pt e/w (12-1, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Betfair – all paying 4 places)