The Ayr Gold Cup is one of the big betting races of the year and the last two winners of this contest have been returned at 28/1 but there have been two winning favourites in the last six years and I feel Mr Lupton (3.40) holds outstanding claims after his Curragh success in a valuable handicap on Sunday.
Richard Fahey’s seven-year-old carries a 5lbs penalty for that win but that is negated by jockey Billy Garrity’s claim. The gelding was beaten 8L in the corresponding race 12 months ago but that was from an 8lbs higher mark and his previous third in the Gt St Wilfrid at Ripon hinted at a return to his very best form. He may have had the best of the draw In Ireland last weekend, but it was a most authoritative performance and the hope is that his draw in the middle of the field in stall 11 is not a worry. The each way recommendation is 15/2 with Boylesports who are betting five places.
At Newbury Tenbury Wells (2.15) is taken to return to winning ways for John Gosden in the 10f Dubai Duty Free Handicap. The three-year-old has won two of his last three starts and lost little in defeat when second at Sandown last time to a progressive Godolphin horse.
William Buick will have to be alert out of the gates from stall one as I wouldn’t want him to get too far back in this competitive heat but he is a typical Gosden improver who is priced at 9/2 with BetVictor who are betting four places on this 13-runner race. Note the selection is 14/1 for the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket next month although he is unlikely to get into the first leg of the autumn double even with a 4lbs penalty if successful today.
The Gp 3 Legacy Cup is something of a retrieval mission for Elarqam (2.50) who must put behind a poor run at York last time when he palpably failed to give his running. He has been given six weeks to freshen up by connections and he receives 3lbs from likely favourite Extra Elusive who is chasing a hat-trick under Hollie Doyle. The 9/4 with Boylesports is top price.
King Power Racing’s Fivethousandtoone (3.25) named in honour of Leicester City’s 5000/1 triumph in the Premier League back in 2015/16 is taken to land the Mill Reef Stakes despite having won just an ordinary Novice event at Newcastle on his second start. The colt – 11/4 with William Hill – is well regarded at Andrew Balding’s yard and his winning time was 2.5 seconds faster than that achieved in the second division of the Novice event – despite having to be pushed out with just hands and heels.
Over at Wolverhampton and End Zone (6.40) has his first start for Roger Fell having been sold by Qatar Racing for 60,000 gns last month. The gelding – 15/8 with bet365 – has only had four career starts and I thought he showed enough ability as a juvenile, and when scoring at Lingfield on his last start for David Simcock, to suggest he could win a handicap from a mark in the 70s. His draw in stall seven is less than ideal but trainer Roger Fell had a welcome winner last week after a lean time and he gets the vote.
One for Hamilton on Sunday and I think Armed (4.10) can finally break his maiden tag in the 10f handicap. The gelding ran his best race for some time when third a Windsor last time and Ian Williams sends his 5-y-old – who was once rated 80 – up to Hamilton from a mark of 57. The ew recommendation is 11/2 with William Hill.