Ayr Gold Cup Preview – Saturday 22nd September
Last updated: September 21, 2018 by Leon Marshal
The big betting race this weekend is the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup over six furlongs. This is one of the most competitive sprint handicaps of the season and always attracts a maximum field. It has been won by several sprinters who went on to prove themselves in Group race company.
The late David Nicholls trained the winner six times in the space of nine years, including with subsequent Champion sprinter Continent in 2001. Other notable winners of the Ayr Gold Cup include Lochsong (1992), Coastal Bluff (1996) and Brando (2016). Last year the meeting was abandoned with the race being re-scheduled at Haydock Park. Andrew Balding won the race with Donjuan Triumphant, ridden by PJ McDonald.
Son Of Rest leaps to top of the betting
The excellent run of Son Of Rest in last weekend’s Group 1 Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh has seen the Irish raider leap to the head of the betting. He started a 22-1 outsider but was beaten only half a length by Havana Grey over five furlongs. He has not won since taking a handicap at the same course in June last year but has been placed in Group 2 and Listed races. The son of Pivotal is yet to win over six furlongs but stayed on strongly last time and could be leniently weighted.
Son Of Rest has displaced Growl as the ante-post favourite. Richard Fahey’s six-year-old has been knocking on the door all season in these big handicaps. He was third in both the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood and the Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon. He was favourite to gain a deserved success at Chester last time but had to settle for third once again behind Bossipop. He finished runner-up to Brando in 2016 when rated 101 and he is 2lbs lower on Saturday.
Tim Easterby’s Flying Pursuit is also prominent in the betting after finishing sixth to Gunmetal at Ripon. Rachel Richardson was in the saddle that day and finished over four lengths adrift of the winner. Flying Pursuit has run well here in the past and is 7lbs better off with Gunmetal. Trainer David Barron will have fond memories of Coastal Bluff’s victory, an imposing grey that he trained to win under 9st 10lbs. Gunmetal is also a grey and, although not in that class, he has relatively few miles on the clock and could be improving.
Strong entry from Kevin Ryan stable
Get Knotted has also been racing over longer distances and was second the smart Wadilsafa at York over a mile in July. The gelding then won over seven furlongs at the same track before finishing eighth to Poet’s Society back over a mile. Golden Apollo looks held by Gunmetal and Growl on Ripon form and could be in the grip of the handicapper at present.
Paul Cole’s Baron Bolt picked up a 5lbs penalty when beating Solar Flair by a neck at Goodwood last month. He was a long way behind Gunmetal at Newmarket in June but was clearly not at his best that day. Paul Cole has booked 5lbs claimer Cameron Noble to cancel out his Goodwood penalty.
Kevin Ryan has a tremendous record in the Ayr Gold Cup and saddles four runners on Saturday. Tommy Taylor shaped well at York in soft ground in July and was beaten only a neck at Ascot recently when third to Fille De Reve.
Major Jumbo was beaten only a neck by Kimberella in a six furlong Listed race at Chester last month. The grey was a close third in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot and seems to go particularly well in large fields. He also has a 5lbs claimer on board in Finley Marsh.
Son Of Rest @11-2 bet365
Tommy Taylor @25-1
Baron Bolt @28-1
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4
The Ayr Gold Cup is due off at 3.50 on Saturday 22nd September and will be televised live on ITV4.