A monster eight races on ITV4 Saturday for stay at home punters and plenty of chances for us to find some winners at both Ayr and Newbury.
Let’s get straight to it, and the 1.45pm at Newbury is a Group 3 over 5f. DAKOTA GOLD is a fast-improving handicapper who deserves his chance at this level. He was fantastic in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon and then in Listed company last time. Should take all the beating for Michael Dods.
Next at Newbury is the 2.20pm, a Group 3 over 1m 3f. DESERT ENCOUNTER has to give weight away but is in tremendous shape at the moment and should get the hat-trick for Dave Simcock. Wins at Windsor and Goodwood suggest he will be good enough and the trip is ideal.
The 2.55pm at Newbury is the Group 2 Mill Reef over 6f. MYSTERY POWER was doing well over 7f until being destroyed by Pinatubo last time. However, on that effort a drop in distance might be ideal and he might be good enough to give 3lb and more away to his rivals for Richard Hannon and Ryan Moore. Pierre Lapin is an obvious danger.
And finally at Newbury, a big handicap over 1m 2f at 3.30pm. GIBBS HILL will be a big price as the top-weight but I have a feeling he is worth a few quid each-way. He stays strong and ran well at York on his penultimate start. Although only eighth at Kempton last time he wasn’t beaten far. I will take a chance.
It’s Ayr Gold Cup day at the Scottish track and we start with a 1m handicap at 2pm. Kynren tries to win again but I have to take him on. I will back BOSTON GEORGE each-way for Keith Dalgleish with cheek-pieces on first time. My hope is lightly raced and wasn’t beaten that far last time when one-paced over 7f so a step up to 1m mile could suit.
The 2.40pm at Ayr is the 6f Silver Cup handicap. Alkaraama has a great chance, but an each-way shot at a big price who could go well is GLENAMOY LAD. These type of events are ideal for my hope and Michael Wigham will have been pleased with his run at Ascot last time. He has every chance of being placed at big odds where Paddy is paying 6 places.
We’ve Group 3 action 6f at 3.15pm and with a BHA rating of 100, ORLAITH is the one to beat. Jockey Paul Mulrennan is full of hope and the selection is in great form after two recent wins from three runs at Ripon and Newbury.
We sign off for the day at Ayr with the big one, the Ayr Gold Cup over 6f at 3.50pm. I will take two against the field, and that will include a few quid on Irish challenger and likely favourite BUFFER ZONE who just loves a big-field handicap and is in cracking shape for trainer Ger Lyons.
He could just make hay here with just a 5lb rise for a big success last time at the Curragh. I’ll also back GROWL each-way at double-digits odds in a race where Paddy’s paying a massive 7 places. He’s up in the weights now for a receent win at Ripon but is perfectly capable of running on through beaten horses. He’s also closely-weighted with Gulliver on their York run earlier this term and that one is a third of his price!
So best of luck and hope for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
* Prices correct at time of publishing but the markets are fluid