Tom Stanley brings his best bets for Ayr Gold Cup day.
History tells us it pays to look high in the Ayr Cups but as far as both Saturday races go, most of the pace is low and I fancy it could pay to be far side today. The Bronze Cup didn’t seem to show up any draw bias yesterday. Out of 8 comes Hawkeyethenoo who has been out of the winner's enclosure for some time. We’ve seen a few this season get their heads back in front though, Ballesteros, Grissom, Gramercy to name a few and Jim Goldie’s 9 year is a well treated horse. 6 of his 8 career wins have come at sprint trips but he probably needs at least 6 nowadays. A hold up ride in behind pace is just what he needs and he’s 8lb lower than when beaten 6 lengths in the Gold Cup last year. I’m also chucking a bit at Foxtrot Romeo who I’m convinced wants a strongly run 6. He was backed before running a slightly disappointing race on debut for David O’Meara in a first time visor last time. Blinkers go on now and, for all he doesn’t have the most attractive race profile, his trainer could make 25’s look silly.
Eagle Top is 6/4 for the Doonside Cup but I’m not sure he’ll run. Either way, it could pay to back Scottish who pulled his chance away last time in France. He’s back in trip and there’s a decent bit of pace on so he may just have this run to suit. He’s a smart 3 year old and there was lots of buzz about him at his trainer’s yard at the start of the season. I fancy he’s a Group horse but does need things to drop right to show that. Pace at this trip will help and he looks too big in the market for a horse that comes off 2nd best at the weights behind a favourite that's unlikely to go.
Keeping it low in the Ayr Gold Cup and the 4 on the list are Highland Acclaim (again), Toofi, Lexington Abbey and Ninjago. The latter is going up because he’s 33/1. This is a class horse on his day that has flattered to deceive and often gets going too late but he does threaten in these big field handicaps and he’ll get pace to chase here. For his chances I hope they come middle. He’s been a touch disappointing the last twice but he was sent off 8/1 for a Stewards' Cup and had excuses. Lexington Abbey has been in the book since the market opened. In fact, he’s been on the radar since his trainer said he’d make an Ayr Gold Cup horse some 18 months ago. He’s yet to win away from Nottingham but he just scrapes in here for a trainer that has a super record in the race. Pat Smullen is an eye catching booking and he’s well drawn to track the majority of the pace.