The Ayr Gold Cup is the big betting race of the day but do look at results from both the Bronze Cup on Friday and Silver Cup this afternoon for valuable clues as to the effect of the draw.
Louie De Palma – drawn in the stall nine – likes to go from the front and the hope is that he gives Gulliver (3.50) a good tow into the race and that a middle draw in stall 10 is not an inconvenience to the selection. David O’Meara’s 5-year-old is 4lbs better off with BetVictor’s 11/2 favourite Buffer Zone for the length-and-three-quarters he was behind the Irish raider at the Curragh on Sunday, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Jockey Danny Tudhope was constantly denied a run at a vital stage, but when he got the gaps he flew home. At 8/1 with BetVictor – 5 places – Gulliver is the each way recommendation and let’s hope he “Travels” a bit better than he did at the Curragh! Note Tudhope rides stablemate Arecibo rather than the selection who is the mount of Jason Hart.
In the finale Irish rider Shamad (5.30) can land his hat-trick having won at the Curragh and York in recent starts. He is only 3lbs higher than for scoring on the Knavsmire and talented apprentice Sean Davis takes off a valuable 3lbs.
Ornate and market leader Dakota Gold will ensure there is plenty of pace in the 5f Group 3 sprint at Newbury and that ought to suit Equilateral (1.45) who bounced back to his best form when scoring at Doncaster last time, Ryan Moore keeps the ride on Charlie Hills four-year-old who is 7/2 with BetVictor and should have the race run to suit.
Desert Encounter has been in terrific form of late and this confirmed hold-up performer won today’s Gp 3 Legacy Stakes two years ago and finished third 12 months ago. He must go close but is saddled with a 3lbs penalty today and is short enough in the betting at 6/4.
The vote, however, goes to Pondus who returns to a quick surface for the first time since winning at Sandown and I hope to see Ryan Moore try and dictate his own pace. Note Wadilsafa looks the only other potential front0-runner. The selection is 5/2 with BetVictor.
Pierre Lapin has not been seen out since making a visually very impressive winning debut at Haydock back in May after which he was considered a realistic Coventry Stakes contender. He jumped the path after about a furlong on his first start and I just wonder if he did something to his back. Whatever has kept him from the track must be fine now and he must have a very good chance in the Mill Reef for which he has been well supported in recent days – now 3/1 market leader.
The each way vote, however, goes to Impressor (2.55) who stepped up on a promising Goodwood debut when winning at Salisbury last time. He must improve again to take a hand in this company, but the runner up has since franked the form and at 7/1 with BetVictor he gets the each way vote.
Frankie Dettori is riding at Longchamp this afternoon and Rab Havlin takes over on Forest Of Dean who is 5lbs “well in” under his 5lbs penalty for scoring at York last time for which he was raised 10lbs. He is only 5/2 with BetVictor, however, and he is reluctantly overlooked despite doing us a favour at York.
Johnny Drama (3.30) is 7lbs better off with the favourite for the length-and-a-half he was behind Forest Of Dean at York when he had to make plenty of running to get to the lead from stall 15. I hope to see jockey Rob Hornby ride him less prominently today. I am convinced there is a big handicap in Andrew Balding’s Irish import who is 15/2 at BetVictor who are betting 4 places in this 13-runner handicap.
In the finale at Chelmsford this afternoon Thomas Greatrex takes off a valuable 5lbs from the back of Junior Rip (5.40) who is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time. The selection is 3lbs higher than when finishing second here last time, but his C&D record reads 12 and he has a good draw in stall three.
For all your racing odds go to BetVictor.com