The 2020 Ayr Gold Cup is the highlight of Ayr Racecourse’s three-day Autumn meeting. This handicap takes place over 6-furlongs, though Ayr in September often puts more emphasis on stamina. It’s typically a race that horses are plotted towards for a while, and there are some obvious candidates this season.
Mr Lupton was rated 110 when winning a Group 2 last season. Eight poor runs followed that victory and he was down to a mark of 98 when third in a big handicap at Ripon. He then won off 100 at the Curragh and, though he’s now rated 103, his useful going jockey claims 5lb. Mr Lupton has an obvious chance off that mark, but he was well-beaten in last year’s contest (be it off 110). His middle draw is also a negative, with winners tending to be drawn nearer to one of the rails.
Nahaar is challenging Mr Lupton for favouritism and he’s capable of going close off 100. But he had to drop into a class-4 to record his last win and he’s 7lb higher than when third and fourth in this class on his first two runs of the season.
Stone Of Destiny is another that was out of form for most of the season but has bounced back to his best recently. His trainer Andrew Balding has saddled two of the last seven winners, but I’m not sure this year’s representative will be suited by this stamina test, and he was well-beaten in the 2019 edition.
Staxton landed a big gamble for us last time at Ripon (Mr Lupton in third) and he’s still 5lb below his highest winning mark. But he’s flopped twice at this meeting before and I’m happy to pass on his chances this time.
Trainer Kevin Ryan deserves a mention, as he’s won four of the last 13 renewals of the Ayr Gold Cup. He saddles Hey Jonesy, Major Jumbo, and Bielsa. But the first two of those three have flopped at this meeting before, while Bielsa needs to improve on his latest efforts.
With the last two winners of the Ayr Gold Cup being returned at 28/1, I’m taking an each-way chance on the 96-rated Another Batt. David Barron’s 5-year-old has mainly raced over further in the last two seasons but is 3 from 8 over 6-furlongs. He’s also a course and distance winner who has won a Group 3 and a handicap off 100 in the past.
01/11/2020 | NFL
1pt Win @ 2.80 William Hill, Betfred
01/11/2020 | NFL
Las Vegas Raiders
1pt Win @ 2.25 SkyBet, William Hill
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