The Gold and Silver Cups are the feature events on the last day of Ayr’s three day festival. Sprint races at the meeting so far have suggest low to middle draws have an advantage, although that may change slightly with the ground continuing to dry out.
Ayr Silver Cup Handicap
The Silver Cup will clearly give plenty of clues to the running of the big one just over an hour later and GET KNOTTED looks to have a big shout as his berth in nine will allow his jockey to go anywhere he chooses.
Another plus is his form over further as this 6f on softish ground is more like a 7f contest. He has been a model of consistency this year and his trainer landed this race in 2012.
Two other horses with form over further look the chief threats.
First up is NINJAGO, who was third in the Gold Cup 12 months ago. He is yet to find that level of form for his new yard, but he likes the ground, has dropped in the weights as a result and runs over a more suitable trip than of late when he has often been outpaced in 5f contests.
NUNO TRISTEN has a similar profile in terms of his liking for trip and ground, and he deserves to land a big one after running well in big handicaps all year. His handler has few peers when it comes to landing these big handicap pots.
His stablemate, Stamp Hill, looks best of the rest.
|Get Knotted (ew)||2.35 Ayr||14/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Ninjago (ew)||2.35 Ayr||25/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Nuno Tristen (ew)||2.35 Ayr||14/1||Bet365, Coral|
Ayr Gold Cup
In the Gold Cup, G FORCE has a similar draw to Get Knotted and looks to be peaking at the right time for his new yard. He has a touch of class having landed a Group 1 in 2014 and handles give underfoot. If he can see out the trip, he should have a big say in the finish.
There are dangers everywhere, with plenty of in-form sprinters looking to bag the big prize on offer. Many of them have shown their hand to the handicapper already, though, and one who is unexposed in this sort of contest is JOHNNY BARNES.
His wide draw is a concern, but he takes a massive drop in class and trip here, and there aren’t many shrewder trainers around than John Gosden. He could as easily be last as first, but he is worth an interest at a big price.
The third selection was a toss-up between AEOLUS and Ascription, both of whom have good form at a higher level.
Ascription may just need this first start for his new connections, so the vote goes to Aeolus, whose last four runs have all been in Group races, including a Group 1 at Royal Ascot. Interestingly, there wasn’t much between him and Ascription when the two met in a Group 2 at Goodwood last July and our selection gets a useful swing in the weights with his decent 5lbs claimer aboard.
Absolutely So looks a big danger for a yard with a fine record here, whilst Baraweez could outrun his massive price (50/1 with Bet365) if his high draw doesn’t prove too much of a disadvantage.
|G Force (ew)||3.45 Ayr||10/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Johnny Barnes (ew)||3.45 Ayr||25/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Aeolus (ew)||3.45 Ayr||22/1||Bet365, Coral|
Dubai Duty Free Handicap
Newbury’s big race is the Dubai Duty Free Handicap, which was won last year by WHAT ABOUT CARLO.
Eve Johnson Houghton’s gelding looks worth supporting again as conditions have come right for him. His recent form hasn’t been as bad as his form figures might suggest and he is actually 1lb lower than he was last season.
Conditions will again be pretty testing at the Berkshire track and that brings soft ground performers like Gold Prince into the equation. He has had a busy season though, so the fresher BERMONDSEY looks a better option.
Luca Cumani has often targeted this race in the past and you can forget this horse’s last run as too much use was made of him too early. If he settles better here, he should run well as he still looks well handicapped.
Goodwood Image and Imperial Aviator are other obvious ones to consider, but if there is to be a shock SIR RODERIC might be the one to provide it.
He has plenty of form on this ground and whilst the step up in trip is an unknown, it might just bring about renewed improvement.
|What About Carlo (ew)||2.50 Newbury||14/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Bermondsey (ew)||2.50 Newbury||16/1||Bet365|
|Sir Roderic (ew)||2.50 Newbury||28/1||Bet365, Coral|
Cesarewitch Trial Stakes
The most interesting race at Newmarket is the Cesarewitch Trial over the marathon trip of 2m 2f. Here, the two to focus on are THE CASHEL MAN, who is blinkered for the first time, and PENGLAI PAVILION, who is very well handicapped based on his best form on the flat a few seasons ago.
|The Cashel Man (ew)||3.50 Newmarket||9/1||Bet365|
|Penglai Pavilion (ew)||3.50 Newmarket||9/1||Ladbrokes|