Kevin Ryan saddles two in the opening mile nursery at Ayr on ground that was still described as good on Friday morning although rain was forecast for later in the day. There is no rain expected for today’s Ayr Gold Cup.
Kevin Ryan saddles a couple in the opening mile nursery and the maiden King Of York (1.20) gets the vote. The juvenile was first past the post at Carlisle but lost the race in the Stewards Room to Roger Charlton’s La Pulga who gave the selection 7lbs – just 4lbs if you take jockey’s allowances into consideration.
La Pulga is now rated ninety-one having finished runner up in a Doncaster handicap last weekend and the hope is that King Of York is well treated from an opening mark of eighty. The gelding – 9/2 with William Hill – cost 350,000 gns as a yearling and is certainly bred for the job. After just three starts he remains open to considerable improvement.
The Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes is a belter and Irish raider Head Mistress is a worthy market leader having won both starts so far including at listed level at the Curragh last time. Those wins were gained at the minimum trip, but she is bred to stay further and there is every indication she will improve again over today’s additional furlong.
This could be a very special day for Kevin Ryan who has eleven runners on the card including Hala Hala Athmani (3.05) who created such a favourable impression when scoring at Carlisle on debut. The filly – 5s from 7s with Boylesports – is a half-sister to Group 1 winning sprinter Hello Youmzain and was a bit of a talking horse prior to her debut success when she was slowly away yet came home 5L clear of her field.
That form is nothing special and in an ideal world I believe Ryan would have wanted to get another run under her belt before stepping up to this level, but she is an extremely exciting prospect. She was green as grass on debut, and she may not be ready for today’s test, but she is one to have on side going forward.
Summa Peto (4.50) has been gelded since finishing third over a mile here back in July and he can reverse the form with winner Redarna back to 7f even though he meets Dianne Sayer’s 7-y-old on 5lbs worse terms. The ew selection – 13/2 with William Hill 4 places – has an excellent draw in stall four and there should be plenty of pace in the race with Poet’s Magic – runner up here on Thursday – likely to ensure a decent gallop.
Al Aasy (2.50) has been gelded since not getting past Sir Ron Priestley on the July course in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes a couple of months ago but can get his career back on track in Newbury’s Group 3 over 11f. The selection is unbeaten in two starts at the Berkshire track and looked a potential star when landing the John Porter here earlier in the season. His subsequent defeat to Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup suggested he was not the heartiest of battlers, but his class should see him through today especially if his gelding operation helps him focus.
It would be wrong to suggest the Gp 2 Mill Reef is a vintage renewal, but it is a competitive affair and Dhabab is likely to go off a short price having looked a non stayer in the 7f Superlative Stakes when last seen back in July. That form was franked at the weekend when the winner Native Trail fairly dotted up in the G1 National Stakes at the Curragh. Dhabab had previously met significant trouble in running when a beaten market leader in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
An each way alternative to the favourite is Maglev (4.00) who also failed to get home over 7f at York last time albeit in nursery company. That form is working out very well and he showed a good tun of foot to get to the lead at the furlong pole before his stamina gives way. At 8/1 with MansionBet he can reward each way support although I do feel Dhabab will be a tough nut to crack.
At Newmarket I hope the switch to turf, and ten furlongs will see Tarroob (3.50) return to the winners’ enclosure having lost out by a head and a nose in her two starts so far this year. The filly – 11/4 with 10Bet – has been raised 6lbs for those efforts which is frustrating, but she landed the odds over this trip at Chelmsford back in December and there seems no reason she should not be at least as effective back on turf.
The selection is not bred for this distance, but she has only had five career starts and remains open to further improvement. She has had a wind procedure since her last start in July.
At Plumpton on Sunday, I am sweet on the chances of Dogon (3.10) who jumped superbly but failed to stay back on fast ground at Newton Abbot over 2m 5f last time. The handicapper has seen fit to drop Paul Nicholls’ 6-year-old another couple of pounds and I hope Bryony Frost makes plenty of use of her mount dropped back down in trip to an extended two miles.The 11/4 with William Hill on Friday looks fair.