THE WILLIAM Hill Ayr Gold Cup (3.20pm, tomorrow) is one of the biggest betting races of the summer and the draw is always a hot topic. Much will be revealed this afternoon when we see the Bronze Cup, but to me it’s all about where the pace is and how soft the ground gets. The past six winners have come from stalls 15, 20, 22, 6, 2 and 8, which doesn’t reveal an awful lot.
David Nicholls is always the first place to start in this race as he has won five of the last 10 runnings. It’s worth pointing out that only one of his winners has started shorter than 16/1, so he often lands it with his second, third or even fourth string. Unsurprisingly he is mob-handed again and it is difficult to rule out any of his five runners. The one I’d be most keen on would be Victoire De Lyphar, who is an unexposed three-year-old and the mount of his son Adrian. He wouldn’t want too much rain, so keep an eye out on the weather
Last year’s winning jockey Frankie Dettori is an interesting booking for the stable on Redford, while both Tajneed and Evens And Odds come here on the back of impressive victories. Of the others, Genki would have a big chance based on his third in a Group 1 last time but he didn’t perform brilliantly in this race last year. If there is going to be a stands-side bias then Jonny Mudball could take some stopping, but he’s another who would prefer good ground.
David Barron won this race in 1996 with Coastal Bluff and he saddles likely favourite POET’S PLACE tomorrow. Ironically, Coastal Bluff was the last favourite to win this race and Poet’s Place must have a massive chance. He has improved with each run this season and managed to get up right on the line in last weekend’s Portland Handicap at Doncaster over 5? furlongs. He is much better over 6 and unlike a few of his rivals will absolutely love any softening of the ground.
He was last out of the hat in yesterday’s draw, but stall 12 shouldn’t be that bad and Jimmy Styles won last year’s renewal from stall 15 after being drawn last. Phillip Makin has the option to go either side if there turns out to be a bias and I think there is plenty more to come from this five-year-old.
The Silver Cup features a number of horses who couldn’t get into the main event and the one I will be backing is Kevin Ryan’s ADVANCED each-way. He won the Gold Cup three years ago off a mark of 108, but has now slipped 13lbs to 95, with Amy Ryan taking off a further 3lbs. His run behind Doncaster Rover in a Listed race at Newmarket last time was a return to form and as long as his draw in stall 6 isn’t a negative he should have a great each-way chance.
There is some cracking action at Newbury tomorrow and I fancy David Brown’s EASY TICKET to take the Nursery at 2.00pm. It doesn’t look a strong race at all and this fellow could be a group horse in the making. The Mill Reef looks pretty weak but I like the look of Brian Meehan’s CROWN PROSECUTOR. He was second in the Gimcrack last time and I fancy him to go one better in this Group 2.
Finally, don’t miss TRIPLE ASPECT in the Group 3 Dubai Airport World Trophy at 3.40pm. He probably needs further than this and often finds trouble in-running, but I can’t help feel that he’s a classier sprinter than this bunch. Nothing will finish stronger than him and he is the perfect in-running trade on Betdaq.
EASY TICKET 2.00PM NEWBURY (TOMORROW)
ADVANCED E/W 2.15PM AYR (TOMORROW)
CROWN PROSECUTOR 2.30PM NEWBURY (TOMORROW)
POET’S PLACE 3.20PM AYR (TOMORROW)
TRIPLE ASPECT 3.40PM NEWBURY (TOMORROW)