Ayr Gold Cup and ITV Races Preview

One of the runners Aleneva on the card at Ayr going round the parade ring on debut at Haydock.

By Samantha

Here’s my thoughts on tomorrow’s races shown on ITV…..

1:45 Newbury

DAKOTA GOLD heads here instead of at Ayr and is worthy of his place in the line up. He’s the highest rated and should go very well.

2:00 Ayr

CLUB WEXFORD was a bit out of his comfort zone last time out and struggled on the ground the time before but he is a course and distance winner and I am intrigued to see if he can get back to winning ways.

2:20 Newbury

This is a nice little event and it could be between Pondus and DESERT ENCOUNTER as the market suggests. I prefer the latter as he’s a course and distance winner but also he’s in great form, winning two group threes.

2:40 Ayr

Major Valentine has won his last three and is penalised 5lbs for that however Kate Leahy’s claim counters that. This is a big opportunity for the jockey. A three year olds won this last year and I like one this time- ALKARAAMA. Never out of the top three, this is a new test but looks progressive.

2:55 Newbury

Mystery Power won the Superlative Stakes but couldn’t deal with Pinatubo last time. Harry Angel’s half brother PIERRE LAPIN won convincingly on debut and it has worked out well. Harry Angel won this on his second start so hopefully this lad can do the same.

3:15 Ayr

ALENEVA was named by our very own Lois and is owned by a friend of Rein It In, John Dance. The form of her maiden victory couldn’t be stronger with the second winning three races and places in group races around the world.

3:30 Newbury

MIGRATION didn’t get the best run to come second to Hyanna last time and they’re weighted to alter the result. I’m willing to give Migration another chance.

3:50 Ayr – The Ayr Gold Cup

The Ayr Gold Cup had a thrilling finish in 2018 when Son Of Rest and Baron Bolt dead-heated for first place. Hopefully we’ll get as an exciting race as then.

Summerghand, George Bowen, Gunmetal, Saxton, Major Jumbo, Growl and Justanotherbottle all tried their hand in this race but acquired a 0 in the form for their efforts. Since then, Summerghand has placed in all bar two of his eight runs. He was fourth in the Stewards Cup and second to talented Dakota Gold in the Great St Wilfred. He’s gone up to 102 for these creditable efforts. The greys George Bowen and Gunmental were both a long way behind Summerghand in those contests. The latter is blinkered for the first time. Saxton was three places behind Summerghand and was third to Air Raid in July. He’s 1lbs lower than his last turf winning mark. Major Jumbo won by quite a way in Listed company on his penultimate start, with Angel Alexander and Merhoob behind. He ran in the group one Sprint Cup last time out and carries a lot of weight now.

Growl won the Great St Wilfred consolation race and squeezes into this race off joint bottom weight. His trainer also has the aforementioned George Bowen and top weight Mr Lupton. He won a group two over in Ireland in May but has lost his way since. The trainer puts up 7lbs claimer, Zak Wheatley, who has five wins to his name, on Justanotherbottle. He won at Sandown in August with Embour behind. A poor run last time out drops him to 96, 1lbs higher than then but is penalised.

Another 7lbs claimer with a big future is Angus Villiers. He rides one of five for David O’Meara. The horse is Intisaab. He’s dropping back down in the handicap after some good races. This is a good mark for him. Next up is Gulliver. He won very well at the Curragh behind Buffer Zone on Sunday. Buffer Zone was a ready winner that day and Ger Lyons and Colin Keane teamed up to win the Ebor. This Bated Breath gelding is quite lightly raced and has a 5lbs penalty. Arecibo wasn’t beaten very far at Doncaster one week ago, with Embour behind, and got within a length of Dakota Gold recently. He’s lightly raced in the UK but hasn’t won much. Cold Stare hasn’t been seen for 105 days and he won at Haydock that day. He’s gone up 6lbs and this is a big step.

Laugh A Minute and Hey Jonesy are both four and connections are trying something different. The former won a big selling race in 2017 and has won just once since. He followed in Air Raid last time and tries blinkers. Hey Jonesy was last seen 12th in a similar race. He’s only won one of his sixteen starts and has a visor for the first time.

Louie de Palma and Bacchus haven’t been seen for a while, especially the latter. He’s coming off a 91 day absence after he was 22nd in the Wokingham. He’d won that race last year and that is the best performance of his career. He’ll need to step up. Louie de Palma comes from sprint maestro Clive Cox. He’s not been seen since coming third at Ascot and is lightly raced for a seven year old. He was tenth in the consolation race last year.

Merhoob and Soldier’s Minute have both lost their way after decent victories. Merhoob landed a handicap at Chester by a length in May and has since been sixth or worse. Soldier’s Minute won a similar race to this at York in May and hasn’t ran very well on the last 3 occasions. He’s only 4 and got 102 for that win so he is a good horse. Stone Of Destiny won on Shergar Cup day at Ascot by a nose over five furlongs and I’m not convinced he’s suited to this kind of race over six furlongs.

Richard Hannon’s yard is flying of late and Embour ran just one week ago, at Doncaster coming sixth. He ran well behind Justanotherbottle and at Goodwood before that. He’s 3lbs higher than his biggest winning mark. I think he’ll win a big race soon. Jedd O’Keeffe tasted big race success with Sam Spinner in recent National Hunt seasons and they have Air Raid. He’s three from six this term and one of those victories were in the Scottish Stewards Cup. He’s developed a love for Hamilton Park and would prefer a bit more cut in the ground but has a good chance. Paul Mulrennan takes the ride on twice-winning Shamardal colt Good Effort. He finished 8th in a listed race when extremely keen so that doesn’t stand him in good stead. They’ll be hoping for some cover.

The babies of the field are three year olds Barbill and Angel Alexander. The former has ran sixteen times in a short career and has had three victories—a five furlong maiden beating a smart filly called Ginger Nut, who I’m very fond of, and now runs in America; an expensive seller in Ireland and a listed race at Chantilly. He’s dropped to 97 from 103 but will be waiting a while longer to win. Roan gelding Angel Alexander has won three lower graded races and steps into this company for the first time. The three year olds look like they may struggle.


18 Of 18 Have Ran In The Last 6 Weeks (42 days)
Rules out- Bacchus, Laugh A Minute, Hey Jonesy, Air Raid, Merhoob, Cold Stare, Soldier’s Minute, Louie de Palmer.

11 of 18 Came From 2 Figure Draw
Rules Out- Mr Lupton, Justanotherbottle, Intisaab, Gulliver, Saxton, Barbill

14 Of 18 Won Over 6 Furlongs Before
Rules out- Angel Alexander

13 of 18 Didn’t Win Last Time Out
Rules Out- Buffer Zone

12 of 18 Carried 9st1 Or More
Rules out- Stone Of Destiny, Good Effort, Arecibo, George Bowen, Growl, Embour

12 Of 18 Aged 4 or 5
Rules out – Gunmetal



This like most big field sprints is a really open contest. There’s three on my short list- SUMMERGHAND, Air Raid and Embour. I’ve been saying for a wile how I think Summerghand will win one of these races this season and it will hopefully be in this race and I’ve also said the same about Embour, but he’s a huge price. Air Raid may need some more cut but he’s a nice horse and in very good form.

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