A feast of action from the Scottish coast at Ayr and the featured Mill Reef Stakes from Newbury on a Super Saturday of ITV Racing.
We kick off at Newbury with a Group 3 5f sprint. The locally-trained Equilateral goes head-to-head with Tis Marvellous as well as some regulars in these big sprints like Ornate and Tinto, who is blinkered far the first time. The ground is drying all the time and Equilateral won’t mind that.
This fella can win.
A small-but-select four-runner field and Extra Elusive cemented Hollie Doyle’s new job as retained ride when winning very nicely at Windsor. He is on a real roll and has previous form with my fancy Elarqam. They met at Sandown last season and Elarqam is 6lbs better off after been beaten a head. The small field and drying ground will suit him better.
It’s interesting that Silvestre da Sousa wants to ride Fivethousandtoone here when Stone of Destiny is fancied for the Ayr Gold Cup. He cantered home at Newcastle after a heavy ground defeat on debut at Windsor but the going will be very different now.
He looked a real eye-catcher the way he went through that Newcastle race. Rhythm Master has arguably the strongest form having finished second in the Prix Morny at Deauville, the form of his win Haydock stands up to scrutiny too as lots of winners have come from it.
Devilwala ran on very strongly in the Gimcrack Stakes to finish second behind Minzaal and is respected, while Line of Departure won a big pot at Doncaster last week and Bahrain Pride did beat Fiverhousandtoone at Windsor.
A cracking contest but Fivethousandtoone is in the ‘could be anything’ bracket and gets the nod.
The Ayr Silver Cup is the consolation race for those that didn’t get in to the Gold Cup and the lightly-raced Kings Lynn heads the market and you can see why. He was strongly fancied at Doncaster recently and found one too good, but last season won a huge pot at Doncaster on only his second start.
He is obviously not the easiest to train having only had three runs, but there’s no doubting his potential. Atalanta Boy won at Goodwood having blown the start previously in the Stewards Cup and is up 5lbs for that.
I’ll stick with last year’s winner Golden Apollo. He’s a good draw, the ground is drying all the time and he will do at an each-way price.
And finally, the Ayr Gold Cup. The top weight Mr Lupton comes in on the back of a big prize at the Curragh last weekend. That’s a slight concern when you consider the travelling involved.
Stone of Destiny has to be of interest after that very comfortable success at Doncaster last time when he won very nicely. This is a very fast 6f, he is a strong traveller an definitely one for the short-list.
Staxton has done us a turn already this season when winning at Ripon, but the quicker ground worries me a little. Arecibo is a hard horse to get a handle on. There is no doubting his ability.
He ran well at Doncaster behind Stone of Destiny and they have put blinkers on this time instead of cheek-pieces and that may have the desired effect. Spanish City ran a blinder in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot behind Hey Jonesy and is on the same mark. Ray Dawson claims 5lb and that is highway robbery as he’s a very accomplished jockey!
I’ll take a punt on Stone of Destiny with Spanish City the main danger.
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