A Class 1 listed race which is not the strongest listed race you will ever see in terms of quality
Juan Elcano goes here as the current market favourite was a Royal Ascot winner this season and you can see why he goes here with trainer and jockey in good form currently and particularly jockey Kevin Stott does seem to take a liking to Ayr having a good record on this course. Was completely outclassed last time out at York with the likes of Mishriff, Love, Alcohol Free lining up.
This is could say calmer waters in terms of opposition. However, I just feel currently around evens he is to short and worth taking on.
Palavecino on his day can be smart and I wouldn't rule out each way showing along with Platinumcard who does like it around Ayr never been out of the top 2 in 3 of the races he has run at this course. This was in class 2 and 3 handicap races of less quality than he is facing today so will have to show a career best along with Palavecino if either of these 2 are going to be winning today.
Maydanny a winner of Goodwood festival this season. hasn't shown much since in his last two runs and looks like the kind of a horse that you don't really know when he is going to pop up and win. like with Mark Johnstons horses for all his runners he has during the season its sometimes very difficult to see where the next win comes from.
Selection for me has to be Euchen Glen does have a liking to Ayr winning 4 of 6 times he has raced around this course. won't mind what the ground is on the day having won from Good to firm to Heavy at various course in the past.
I just feel at the price he is worth taking on the favourite here and Euchen Glen will run his race. He is a class 1 listed winner already this season and on paper is the highest rated horse in this race. Jockey Paul Mulrennan has already had a few winners at Ayr this week and has a strike rate of 20% this last fortnight. A lot goes in favour here for Euchen Glen whereas quite a few have question marks or need to raise considerably what they have shown
EUCHEN GLEN (WIN)
written by Luke Tucker
Hurricane Ivor produced a dominant display to win the Portland at Doncaster last Saturday and did so in the manor the favourite was expected to however this Group 3 contest looks a much bigger test for William Haggas’ charge and although it’s more than conceivable to see the four year old grab a place it’s the best that can be expected here.
The current market leader and only former course winner is the Charles Hills trained Khaadem. He was without a win since the 2019 Stewards Cup until his eleventh subsequent race when victorious at Doncaster last time out. In that time he’d produced solid performances, even at Group 1 level, but his lack of consistency worries me and I couldn’t be certain he’s going to be able to follow up.
One horse that has been consistent is the oldest horse in the race, Tis Marvellous. A winner of his last two starts he’s aiming to make it three in a row and punters would be foolish to discount him entirely. To me he looks the most likely to give my selection something to worry about but it’s the Queen’s King's Lynn who I find myself opting for. Andrew Balding’s charge isn’t the most prolific winner but has some solid form in the likes of the Wokingham and wasn’t miles behind in the Kings Stand. His performance last time looked too bad to be true and if he’s anywhere near his best he’s going to go very close indeed.
KING’S LYNN (WIN)
written by Rory Paddock
The Firth Of Clyde Fillies Stakes is a Group 3 over 6 furlongs for 2 year old fillies and currently there are 15 heading to post. At the time of writing, the ground is Good to Firm.
Current market leader is Head Mistress at 3/1. This unbeaten filly won last time out at The Curragh in the Finlay Volvo Curragh Stakes, over 5 furlongs. She beat a very consistent runner in Loveday. This half sister to Rule The Waves now goes up to 6 furlongs on British soil. G F Carroll is on board to do the steering and she looks a solid prospect.
George Boughey had a phenomenal start to the season with his 2 year olds and brings Hellomydarlin here to try and finish the season off in style. This filly has finished 23532 in the last 5, a consistent runner and a good each way chance at 7/1 with extra places available at certain bookmakers.
Hala Hala Athmani has already received decent backing after the odds went out. The 7/1 that you could get was quickly slashed into 11/2, then into 4/1, now 7/2 second favourite. This filly is clearly well fancied and it's clear to see why. Unbeaten, albeit with 1 run, but this half sister to the very talented Hello Youmzain will thrive off the quick ground, as she did at Carlisle last time out.
Hala Hala Athmani is hard to ignore here. I think she'll go off favourite and replicate some of the form that her half-brother has put out in the past.
HALA HALA ATHMANI (WIN)
written by Charlie Sharp
A good quality handicap over a mile and a quarter with some improving three year olds in this contest.
Aramaic is likely to head the market and it’s easy to see why. In his latest victory at York he put away an established handicapper in Pivoine (re-opposes today) with relative comfort, was a decent display and there’s no reason to suggest a seven pound hike is likely to stand in his way.
Mo’assess has a similar profile. On previous form there shouldn’t be a lot between him and Aramaic.
It’s worth noting however Aramaic has better turf form and Mo’assess has to prove he can continue his progress on grass.
There could be some each way value to be had with Strait Of Hormuz and he is the selection. There is some doubt as to well handicapped he is, but he is a consistent performer of his current mark.
There have been signs recently that his turn might night be far away and any rainfall will be in his favour.
STRAIT OF HORMUZ (E/W)
written by Matt Polley
Although it’s not one of the handful of group races shown live on ITV this Saturday this is definitely the race of the day in the annual Scottish cavalry charge that is the Ayr Gold Cup.
This years renewal looks no easier to decipher than any other and the current market principles Great Ambassador and Commanche Falls have been in absolutely blistering form this term picking up 7 wins from 11 starts between them. Both deserve their spot near the head of the market and with the pair aged at just four years old they have plenty of room to progress even further.
My negative however is that they’re both drawn in stalls 1 and 2 respectively and both have to produce their best ever weight carrying performance to win. I’m not 100% certain that a low draw is going to be a negative and at the time of writing (prior to the Ayr Bronze Cup) I’m just not willing to take a chance on horses at such short odds with such a potential pitfall. All that being said it’d come as no surprise if either were to add to their impressive winning tally in this.
The money horse and talking horse prior to the race is Paul Midgley’s Ostilio. An eye-catcher for many (including our very own Chris Connolly) when 4th at Beverley last time out it seemed as though he was primed for a big run and just needs to be let off the leash. Connections have done well at this meeting before and with the trainers adept nature with sprinters I’m hoping the market is a sign of a bold showing.
I would’ve been very keen on Snazzy Jazzy if the rain had fallen however mother nature looks set to ensure a dry weekend and has put pay to his chances. If the heavens were to open however then I’d be keen to back him at big odds.
Count D’Orsay went well in the Portland last weekend when third at a big price. The form of that effort could be franked with the winner lining up in a Group 3 contest at Newbury earlier in the day. Tim Easterby’s runner seems in solid form however the handicapper might have a strong hold of him.
One I’d be foolish to ignore is Hey Jonesy who somehow has a knack of coming out on top at big odds. I wouldn’t let his poor recent form put you off however his form in two previous runs in this race are woeful at best. If it were anywhere but Ayr I’d urge punters to have a small nibble at big odds but at this Scottish venue he’s best left alone.
The second of two selections finished a very credible 6th in this last season. He probably should’ve finished closer if it weren’t for a few traffic problems and Lahore could be seriously overlooked. As I write this preview he’s the rank outsider at 50/1 but to me that price looks way too big. I’m fully aware he’s been nowhere near his best in 2021 but unlike the majority of his rivals he’s been lightly raced with just four outings this season. I’m hoping that means he’ll be fresher than most and with previous Class 2 handicap victories in the locker he’s certainly capable at this level. He’s set to carry 8lbs less than he did in this race last term and if getting a clearer run this time around may build upon his previous showing.
written by Rory Paddock
Dhabab will likely prove popular given his third in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes over seven furlongs when last seen in July, in the lead at the furlong pole before losing two places close home. The form of that race has already been well advertised with the winner going on to beat the highly regarded Point Lonsdale in a Group 1 at the Curragh last weekend so I can see why he would be considered favourite, however for the winner preference is for Gubbass who has also progressed well over the season, winning his first two including one here at Newbury before showing further improvement when a close up third in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. He got stuck behind a wall of runners in the Prix Morny when last seen but still managed a respectable fifth so looks more than capable of getting back on track now returning to Newbury.
Others to mention include Gis A Sub who had Fearby in behind when second in the Gimcrack last time out and should be capable of at least confirming that form, while Maglev has been progressing well and wasn't beaten far by a thriving Andrew Balding runner when last seen so commands respect despite having a bit to find on ratings.
written by Dean Kilbryde
A competitive handicap here but the one I like is Hong Kong Harry trained by Richard Fahey. He has been lightly raced this year having just three outings. He ran twice here at Ayr earlier in the year and won on both occasions. He then had a break of 107 days before finishing a good third at Lingfield despite the track not really suiting him. He steps up to a mile for the first time here, but the distance should suit. He has a progressive profile with four wins from his six runs, he is two out of two here at Ayr and Paul Hanagan who takes the ride today has a four from four record on him. He looks to have plenty in his favour today and can win again at Ayr.
The current favourite is Dance fever from the Clive Cox yard. He is another who has been running well over seven furlongs this year but should be suited by the mile trip today. He was staying on just too late over seven furlongs at Goodwood last time. He boasts some good form, and his stable is in red hot form but he has to give a stone to the selection who is unbeaten here.
Others in with a chance include the two Tim Easterby runners, Garden Oasis has won his last two races but Easterby stable jockey David Allan deserts him today for Cruyff Turn who has won four times this year including a game front running win at York last time. Shelir wouldn’t be winning out of turn after finishing runner up five this season including twice here. He is too consistent for his own good as the handicapper is showing no mercy and in fact has raised him a pound for a neck second at Pontefract last time.
HONG KONG HARRY (WIN)
written by Steve Marriott
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