Doc can Make Hay Once Again
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2pts win Doc Hay in 15.30 Ayr at best morning price.
1pt e.w. Captain Ramius in 15.30 Ayr at best morning price.
1pt win Master Of War in 14.35 Newbury at best morning price.
Ground conditions are sure to have a big influence over the outcome of Saturday's William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and it may well be that the winner will be a horse with form over further than the six furlong trip.
Weight could also play a big part in the outcome and although Maarek and The Cheka are both class acts and will go in the ground, their big weights are off-putting.
One horse who is certainly well-handicapped is Doc Hay, who carries a 5lb penalty for winning the Portland Handicap over five and a half furlongs at Doncaster last week.
Given the way he bounded home that day, one would have high hopes he could stay this distance and he has plenty of form in soft ground.
Doc Hay is set to go up 2lbs in future handicaps and after a midsummer break has returned, clearly, in tremendous form. He looks the one to beat.
But a possible alternative, a horse whose winning form has come over seven furlongs, is Captain Ramius, aboard whom Pat Smullen looks an interesting booking.
Kevin Ryan's gelding made much of the running when third in the Bunbury Cup over seven furlongs at Newmarket in July, a race run on heavy ground, and this could be run to suit.
Lots of others have chances, of course, and last year's winner Our Jonathan has been heavily backed, though when successful 12 months ago he came into the race in better form.
I fancy Doc Hay could take all the beating but if his stamina does give way it makes sense to have Captain Ramius on side too.
At Newbury, Master Of War is fancied to take the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes in receipt of 3lbs from Heavy Metal, who beat him half a length in the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Richard Hannon's colt was possibly just found out by a step up to seven furlongs at Sandown next time, and seems very genuine and consistent.
It's a tight race, with Prix Morny fifth Moohaajim and John Gosden's Taayel both likely improvers, but the Hannon runner gets my vote.