13:45 Newbury We open today’s proceedings with a small runner field for the Group 3 Legacy Cup. Unfortunately there’s so few entries that it’s difficult to make looking for each way value a realistic proposition. It may seem boring but Eagle Top has dined at the top table and these rivals look a much easier contest than it’s previous competition. Despite the threats that it’s rivals pose it should be primed to take it’s first win of the year. John Gosden’s four year old may be odds on but it’s a true reflection of its chances and looks the likely winner. Eagle Top (WIN)

14:00 Ayr The first of four races from one of Scotland’s premium racecourses. The short priced favourite for this two year old race is the unbeaten Clive Cox runner Priceless. The race it won looks a decent effort but this is a marked step up in opposition and at such a short price I have to look for a horse with a better price. It’s interesting to see Irish trainer Joseph G Murphy send Only Mine over for this race but I feel it’s open to more classier types. Trainer Ann Duffield is doing great at the moment and has won two of the last three renewals of this race. The unbeaten Silhuette comes here on the back of two good victories but stepping up to this class may seem too big a task despite the dangers it poses. The horse I’ve gone for ran a decent race to finish fourth in The Lowther. David Barron’s Lady Clair has probably done better, form wise, than all of today’s rivals and this is clearly a weaker contest. I think it’s nailed on to finish placed if not better. Lady Clair (E/W)

14:15 Newbury Our second visit to Newbury sees us take in another small field group race. This looks a bit more competitive than the earlier race in Berkshire but once again it looks like I’m going to be siding with the favourite. The two main protagonists Ribchester and Raucous look set to do battle again after their previous meeting in the Gimcrack Stakes at York. Since then Ribchester was purchased by racing powerhouses Godolphin and I must admit I was taken by the way it ran on for second that day. Despite it still not shaking it’s maiden tag I feel today could be the day it finally gets it’s head in front. Ribchester (WIN)

14:35 Ayr The precursor and lower level version of the principle race of the day in this years renewal of the Ayr Silver Cup. The current favourite is George Bowen who is looking to notch up a hat trick having won it’s previous two races. Richard Fahey has enlisted previous stable jockey Paul Hanagan to ride the three year old but another hike in the weights in a much tougher race makes it one where the favourite should be left alone. One of my two selections doesn’t sit far off the head of the market as lesser known trainer Chris Wall enters lightly raced four year old Johara. With just one run this season the horse has plenty of scope for improvement. A very decent return performance when finishing fourth of twenty behind Eccleston looks promising and the horse is bound to have shaken off some of the cobwebs accumulated after a year away from the course and will come on for its reappearance. Experienced jockey Ted Durcan is booked for the ride and should go well today. A mention has to go to old timer Hawkeyethenoo who is one of only two runners that has a course win to its name. It’s obviously a shadow of its former self but if it can recapture somewhere near its best it could roll back the clocks and find itself at the head of proceedings when it comes to the winning line. My second and final selection is ridden by soon to be retired jockey Hayley Turner. The Tom Dascombe yard hasn’t had the best of times recently with the unfortunate passing of Brown Panther but I can see a small turn of fortunes for the yard here with their runner Hillbilly Boy. The five year old has been lightly tried this year and a decent showing in a listed event last time bodes well. A return to six furlongs should help it’s chances and a decent each way attempt could be on the cards. Johara (E/W) Hillbilly Boy (E/W)

14:50 Newbury An open looking contest as a ten furlong handicap sees eighteen runners line up here. The current horses vying for favouritism are Cymro and Laurence. The Tom Dascombe trained three year old has put in some great performances this year but unfortunately has been mightily inconsistent and seems to have an aversion to running consecutive good performances. The Cumani horse is also aged three and put in a good effort to win last time out but seems to have had a hard campaign and this may be too much. One horse that hasn’t had a jam packed season is Mange All. The horse’s trainer William Haggas has had a great season and after just two runs this year it is likely to be fresher than most of its rivals. Despite it’s lacklustre performance at York a return to it’s better efforts should see it get involved. Of the remaining runners I think it’s worth noting the only course and distance winner Burano. The six year old gained it’s course and distance victory in October last year off a mark just one pound lower and on similar soft conditions as today. Promising apprentice Kieran Shoemark takes five pounds off the horses back and at 25/1 it seems too generous to ignore. Mange All (E/W) Burano (E/W)

15:10 Ayr John Gosden’s Eagle Top is entered into two televised Channel 4 contests and the likelihood is it won’t run here. With that in mind the most likely favourite is Mutakayyef. The four year old colt finished a close second in a Group 3 last time out and for a seasonal reappearance that was a promising run. It should come on for that run and a drop in class is definitely going to help. Both Exosphere and Scottish are the biggest threats but I feel they’ll both be fighting it out for the runners up spot after both have had tougher campaigns than the likely favourite. Mutakayyef (WIN)

15:25 Newbury The final of three group races from Newbury is a Group 3 sprint contest that sees recent winner Steps as the close favourite. It won well last time but as you can see from it’s previous form it isn’t a horse that seems fond of winning two races in a row but the fact it’s entered so soon after it’s recent success is definitely eye catching. It will relish the ground and the quick out the gates Caspian Prince should set it up for a horse that finishes late, which Steps does. Of the remaining runners we see former champion jockey Richard Hughes start his training career with the once promising two year old Elysian Flyer. The horse could play a hand in this but is likely to find one or two too good. Another horse, aside from the favourite, that also catches my eye is Richard Hannon’s Musical Comedy. The four year old gelding who is owned by The Queen has a 100% record at Newbury and acts well on soft ground. It needs to recapture it’s previous form but if it can progress then it could sneak into a place. Steps (E/W if 9/2+) Musical Comedy (E/W)

15:45 Ayr Our final contest and big race of the day is this years showpiece the Ayr Gold Cup sprint handicap. As with any renewal of this race it’s a very closely matched affair. Unlike previous runnings of this race however it is very rare that we see an unbeaten runner entered. Richard Fahey’s three year old Don’t Touch has raced just four times with four victories to its name. It’s last outing at Ripon was a decent effort when beating Kimbarella. The horse has to take a step up but at such a young age and with bags of potential there’s nothing from its previous runs to suggest that it can’t. However I do feel that this is a mammoth task and with such a great level of competition I feel I have to look for better value. In all honesty there’s five horses I have toyed with tipping but only two will get the nod for today’s main race. Of the five I had noted down unfortunately Algar Lad, Golden Steps and Tanzeel only marginally fail to make the grade. No doubt the decision to cut these three will work out badly for me as they will undoubtedly fill the first three places and “Sods Law” will prevail. The horses that are put up both sit near the bottom of the weights. The first of which resides with Yorkshire based trainer David O’Meara who loves to farm big race handicaps such as this. He enters four year old Highland Acclaim who has been ultra consistent in its last four outings. It only sits four pounds above its last winning mark and I feel this could be the race that it has been campaigned towards. My second selection is mightily speculative and is currently priced at around 50/1. Ann Duffields yard has hit a purple patch recently and despite Astrophysics disappointing seasonal return it’s two year old form now looks pretty decent with a second placed finish in last years Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes where it finished ahead of Irish horse Ainippe. Obviously the horse needs to show that it belongs at this level but if it can improve vastly on its last run and it can live up to its two year old performances 50/1 could look ridiculously generous. Highland Acclaim (E/W) Astrophysics (E/W)

#Ayr #turf #Handicap #Fahey #Newbury #Paddock #selections #SilverCup #preview #Hanagan #article #betting #Live #GoldCup #race #Sprint #racing #tips #picks #Channel4 #Haggas #TV