WELCOME OFFER FOR THE AYR GOLD CUP DAY AVAILABLE HERE
1.20 - Microtech Group EBF Nursery (1m)
There are seven contenders in this nursery and all bar one already have winning form in the book. Pythagoras, Longlai and RECOVERY RUN are the trio that appeal most.
The top-weight is getting better with every run and Richard Fahey's son of Zoffany made a mockery of his opening mark to win at Ripon by more than eight lengths this month, storming away from his rivals. He's much-respected again but the handicapper has slapped him with a 12lb hike and that poses a question.
Longlai is more of a gradual improver but the King Power runner won a Salisbury novice over this trip early in the month and looks to be on a workable mark now turning his attention to handicapping.
Andrew Balding's Nathaniel colt Recovery Run edges the verdict, however, under the champion jockey Oisin Murphy. He's a determined sort and has been second in three all-weather runs since early summer while he narrowly won a maiden at Sandown (1m, good to firm; 13-8 joint-fav) early last month.
He just held off fellow market leader Lone Eagle - the pair well clear of everything else - and that rival has won both starts since, including a decent nursery at Doncaster last Saturday. Back on the grass, Recovery Run can go well at a track where his trainer has a 22 per cent strike-rate.
1.55 - Jordan Electrics Doonside Cup Stakes (Listed, 1m2f)
There is a promising field as well for this Listed contest and one in which ADDEYBB holds a class edge on his rivals.
The William Haggas runner bagged himself a brace of Group 1 wins in Australia earlier this year and while those efforts have him conceding a penalty to these rivals, he looks good enough to defy that obstacle.
He's a very consistent individual and he returned to the UK at Royal Ascot in June where he was fancied to win the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, only to run into the progressive Lord North and finish second-best. That was a strong effort again and this drop in class offers him a great opportunity to enhance his impressive win ratio.
Haggas doesn't tend to have many runners at this track and it's worth noting he has enjoyed three winners from only four starters here since 2016. This looks an excellent piece of placement for the likable Addeybb.
Fox Chairman and the admirable Lord Glitters are two obvious opponents worth respecting but San Donato could be one to go well at a price for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. He hasn't built on a pleasing comeback second in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot in his two runs since but now tackles a brand new trip and may get involved if seeing this out.
2.30 - QTS Ayr Silver Cup Handicap (6f)
It's certainly not too hard to make a case for King's Lynn in the royal silks for trainer Andrew Balding and that man Murphy in this race. The form of his Doncaster Sales contest win last autumn has worked out very well and his reappearance on Town Moor last month offered plenty of encouragement, despite being beaten as odds-on favourite.
An opening mark of 94 is far from prohibitive and he can be expected to show up well. This is very competitive stuff, however, and he'll need things to go his way.
An alternative is ATALANTA'S BOY for the David Menuisier yard. He was considered a lively player in the Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood following a winning return at Chelmsford and a near miss in a good race at Windsor. He lost his chance in that 27-runner charge when the gates opened as he reared up and it was easily forgivable.
The handicapper dropped him 2lb and he took full advantage back at Goodwood last month, dispatching nine rivals without much fuss under regular rider Thomas Greatrex. They are up 5lb for that win but this progressive sprinter should have more to offer and at double-figure odds he remains appealing.
Of the remainder, Aberama Gold is a C&D winner who shaped well last time at York and should relish the return here with conditions in his favour. He, too, is a fair price with each-way terms on the first five home.
Selection: Atalanta's Boy @ 10/1
Next Best: Aberama Gold @ 16/1
3.00 - Scotty Brand Firth Of Clyde Fillies' Stakes (Group 3, 6f)
It's a day of sprinting at Ayr and this Group 3 for the juveniles is another speed test. The obvious one on paper is UMM KULTHUM, third in last month's Lowther Stakes at York.
The Kodiac filly attracted plenty of market support in that Group 2 event and rather spoiled her chance with a slow beginning. She did well in the circumstances to get back into contention and finish third behind Miss Amulet and Sacred.
The runner-up was narrowly denied in the Flying Childers at Doncaster last weekend, while the others to have run since York have all given the form a good deal of strength, including Scarlet Bear (fifth) finishing third in a Salisbury Group 3.
It all points to Umm Kulthum, winner of an excellent maiden at Thirsk in July on first start, taking this drop in class in her stride to make it 2-3 in her fledgling career.
Mamba Wamba was narrowly denied in the Listed Roses Stakes (5f, soft) at York's Ebor meeting and Adrian Nicholls' challenger has since gone back there to win a novice event this month over half a furlong extra in excellent style. She's got scope for better things and the return to 6f should be favourable, making her one of the likelier sorts to go well at a price.
3.40 - QTS Ayr Gold Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 6f)
The main event of the three days at Ayr is the Gold Cup and a field of 25 are set to contest this often fierce and frantic sprint. Unlike the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood, there's less of a reliance in getting the breaks in running here, with Ayr a wide open track that ought to allow challengers to find a position from which to make their play.
On that basis, NAHAARR is fancied to atone having failed to deliver as 3/1 favourite in the aforementioned Goodwood event. William Haggas' charge was never better than mid-division that afternoon and eventually got beaten by three lengths at the line. The quirky nature of Goodwood didn't seem to be to his liking and so it's entirely possible he failed to give his best.
His earlier form this summer makes for good reading. After a decent comeback at Newmarket, he found only a couple too strong in the Silver Wokingham at Royal Ascot and then backed that up with a decisive Newbury win in July off a mark of 94.
Goodwood also came up very quickly on the back of that run, which might have been another factor. Unraced at two, Nahaarr won four-from-five last season and remains with scope to improve again. Having started so short at Goodwood, he's a much more appealing price in this event.
Last week's Doncaster scorer Mr Lupton is a big danger for Richard Fahey on that form, while Kevin Ryan has won this race four times and counts Bielsa and Hey Jonesy (winner of the Wokingham in June) amongst his trio of chances this time around.
Not far behind Hey Jonesy at Royal Ascot was Spanish City and Roger Varian's runner has an each-way squeak here. His next two starts were in deep handicaps over 7f at Newmarket and back at Ascot in July and that longer trip didn't appear to assist him.
He caught the eye from the rear at Ascot this month, making solid late ground back over 6f and can go well at a track where his trainer does well, boasting a 33 per-cent strike-rate from 15 runners in the last five years. With the in-form Ray Dawson taking 5lb off, the Exceed And Excel gelding has plenty going for him.
Next Best: Spanish City @ 22/1
4.15 - Luxury Staycations At Western House Hotel Handicap (1m)
BRUNCH is thriving this summer and the three-year-old should continue to go well. He's won three out of four starts (including his last two) and the only setback came at Haydock in June when fourth behind Strait Of Hormuz - form that has been very well advertised since.
He was a good winner last month at York in a decent field and, despite going up another 6lb in the ratings, looks more than capable of being in the finish.
Zwayyan is very consistent and has claims, as does last time out Thirsk winner Shelir, but the biggest danger may be from Richard Fahey's Irreverent. He's got course-winning form in his locker and on the evidence of his recent Leicester fourth over 7f, he promises to be well suited back over this distance.
4.50 - Brandinghub Signs & Print Handicap (1m5f)
The longest race on the card and one in which Make My Day is on a recovery mission after disappointing at York over an extended two miles at the Ebor Festival last month. Ralph Beckett's charge had made a pleasing debut for the yard when winning on the Knavesmire in July (1m4f, good) on his return from 393 days off and having left John Gosden's team.
He remains unexposed and could well bounce back down in trip. Like Roger Varian and Andrew Balding, Beckett's runner at Ayr need major attention.
Recent Haydock winner Multellie and the returning Elysian Flame are two more to consider but most interesting is GOOBINATOR for the Donald McCain yard.
He won a Southwell maiden on the Fibresand on his third start in November last year and made good progress over hurdles afterwards, twice winning and finishing second in the remaining two from four starts.
All of these efforts came on soft going so conditions here hold no fears. He's had a wind op since last spotted in the spring and an opening mark of 82 back on the level might underestimate him. Paul Mulrennan knows this track inside out and is a good ally and they can be big players in this staying handicap.
5.25 - Download The Gribbens Taxi App Now Handicap (7f)
The hat-trick-seeking Harrison Point commands plenty of respect under the champion jockey ,having supplemented his C&D win in July with success last month at Beverley. He's up another 4lb today but likely remains competitive.
Newmarket scorer Ascension is also shortlisted from the Roger Varian team and will have his supporters to continue Andrea Atzeni's fine record at this venue.
Perhaps this is a decent chance for NATIONAL LEAGUE to get his first win of 2020. He caught the eye from the rear at Doncaster last week over 7f when finishing well in third behind a pair of promising and unexposed rivals in Haqeeqy and Cold Front.
This return to a slower surface (won on heavy ground at Hamilton last year) may be a plus factor and from the same mark of 84 he's certainly got the potential to make a bid if Tony Hamilton can keep him closer to the pace.
ODDS FOR THE AYR GOLD CUP DAY AVAILABLE HERE
ODDS ARE CORRECT AS OF 18/9/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS