Teruntum Star can shine bright for Pat Smullen in Ayr Gold Cup

Bill Esdaile
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Curragh Races
Pat Smullen is bidding for a second Ayr Gold Cup victory on Teruntum Star (Source: Getty)

FROM 5/1 favourite Growl to 33/1 shot G Force, a case can be made for almost every horse in Saturday's Ayr Gold Cup (3.45pm).

The latter is a Group One winner who showed glimpses of a return to form at Navan on his most recent start and has the class to play a part.

He’ll handle soft ground and trainer Adrian Keatley has been one to keep an eye on this season.

At the other end of the market, the Richard Fahey-trained Growl is well-fancied after finishing fourth in the Stewards’ Cup despite meeting traffic problems and is also likely be improving.

Before that, the son of Oasis Dream was fourth in the Bunbury Cup over seven furlongs and the stiff six with some cut in the ground will be right up his street.

The 6/1 doesn’t get me too excited, though, and he will surely go off a bigger price on the day. The 16/1 available with Betway on TERUNTUM STAR is more like it.

With all of his winning form coming on a softer surface he’s definitely one who can go well.

Disappointing runs on quicker ground have separated those two victories and I fancy him to run a big race with conditions back in his favour.

Pat Smullen rode him in last year’s Silver Cup where he finished 24th of 25. The quicker ground was definitely against him that day and it’s interesting to see Smullen is keen to get back on board.

The same trainer-jockey combination was responsible for 2012 winner Captain Ramius and Kevin Ryan is bidding to make it four wins in the race in 10 years.

All things considered, Teruntum Star looks a cracking each-way bet at 16/1 from what looks a decent draw in stall 16.

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At the slightly bigger odds of 20/1 comes AEOLUS. The combination of Hector Crouch’s 5lb claim and soft ground has convinced me he can go close.

He has proved his class with solid runs at Group level this season, including being beaten just a length by the high class Magical Memory and Group One winner Profitable, and is mighty dangerous back in handicap company.

Stall 19 has housed two of the last three winners and that’s where Aeolus is drawn - make of that what you will.

Before that it’s the day’s consolation race, the Ayr Silver Cup (2.35pm). Off a 5lb lower mark than in this race last year and hinting at return to form is ECCLESTON.

Being a hold up horse, he has the tendency to be involved in hard luck stories. But in the trusty hands of Graham Lee I’m sure he’ll get a wise ride and he should be there or thereabouts at the finish. Take the 8/1 with Betway.

Lastly, BLETCHLEY catches my eye in the Group Three Firth Of Clyde Stakes (2.00pm). Her second in the Albany Stakes is a very strong piece of form.

Not only did she beat subsequent Group winners Queen Kindly and Kilmah, but it was soft at Ascot that day and she should get similar conditions.


Bletchley 2.00pm Ayr

Ecclestone/w 2.35pm Ayr

Teruntum Stare/w 3.45pm Ayr

Aeolus e/w 3.45pm Ayr

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