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Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan’s golden touch to toast Ayr booty
Kevin Ryan can strike it rich tomorrow in Scotland by landing his third William Hill Ayr Gold Cup in six years.
The North Yorkshire trainer saddles four horses in the £120,000 showpiece, including last year’s winner Our Jonathan. But my sporting nap vote goes to Pintura, who is fancied to come out best of Ryan’s quartet.
Although best known for his exploits over further than tomorrow’s six furlongs, stamina will be at a premium on a rain-sodden course, and after yesterday’s Ayr programme fell to waterlogging, Pintura, a proven mud-lover will be in his element. He is also in tremendous form, having won in Listed company over seven furlongs in Ireland on his latest start when the ground was similarly heavy.
Our Jonathan clearly has a chance, as do a whole host of others. Richard Fahey also has four runners, including course winner Alben Star and Goodwood scorer Johannes, while David Nicholls, who has won the race a record six times, adds to the North Yorkshire challenge with two runners, Beacon Lodge and Rodrigo De Torres.
A maximum field of 27 will go to post and, in a wide-open race, Pintura is the one for me.
Punters face a challenging day in Scotland. For the first time ever, the Silver and Bronze Cups will join the Gold Cup on the same card, meaning three 27-runner sprint handicaps within a couple of hours.
Jack Dexter, who finished an encouraging fourth at York to Heeraat on his latest start, is fancied for the Bronze on behalf of Jim Goldie, whose Hawkeyethenoo will be a popular choice in the big one, while in the Silver, Spinatrix, who relishes soft ground, is chosen to score for Darlington trainer Michael Dods.
Tim Easterby won the Laundry Cottage Stud Firth of Clyde Stakes 12 months ago with Roger Sez, and the Great Habton trainer can produce an encore with Royal Rascal.
A winner on bad ground at York in July, Royal Rascal showed her worth when filling third place behind Rosdhu Queen in the Lowther Stakes on the same course at the Ebor Festival . She is a smart filly.
Whatever Fahey’s fate in the Gold, Silver and Bronze Cups – he’s well represented in all three – the Malton trainer has further chances on the card.
Dusky Queen (4.05), who has finished second at Newmarket and Sandown on her last two starts, and the mud-loving High Office (5.45) are two to note.
At Catterick, the £15,000 Pin Point Recruitment Handicap takes pride of place and Norton trainer Tony Coyle could hold the key with New Hampshire.
The mount of regular rider Lee Topliss, New Hampshire is progresing well and was only narrowly denied in a tough handicap at Doncaster last Saturday.
1.45 Jack Dexter, 2.20 Spinatrix, 2.50 Royal Rascal, 3.30 Pintura (NAP), 4.05 Dusky Queen, 4.40 Ektihaam, 5.15 Sam Nombulist, 5.45 High Office.
1.55 George Rooke, 2.30 Dr Irv, 3.00 Skidby Mill, 3.40 New Hampshire, 4.15 Shaleek, 4.50 Artisan, 5.25 Red Shadow, 5.55 Michael’s Nook.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Newbury, Newmarket and Wolverhampton.
Today’s meetings: Ayr, Brighton, Lingfield, Newbury and Wolverhampton.