Resident expert Man On The Spot provides a verdict for each race on the Friday card for day two of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival.
Azure Blue has shown promise in a couple of outings over 6f and went close at Carlisle last time. Forgivable also improved over 6f at Thirsk last month while Wootton'sun drops down in distance having failed to threaten over a mile. Green Team finished a modest fifth at Haydock but stablemate and 120,000gns purchase MARHABA THE CHAMP is related to four winners including Lowther winner Queen Kindly and Kevin Ryan’s colt gets a speculative vote to make a winning debut. Kanzino, Celestial Star and Beluga Gold are other newcomers to note.
Final Account represents last year’s winning yard and won a handicap at Hamilton recently with Ryan's Party back in fifth. Straits Of Moyle landed a lower grade nursery at Carlisle and Kendred Fire steps up in class having gone close at Ripon. Lethal Levi was beaten in handicaps before scoring back in novice company at Redcar while Lady Lade will find this easier than her latest task at York. But a chance is taken LOCKE continues his steady progress now handicapping having won with a bit to spare at Windsor recently.
Project Dante has every chance at the weights having gone close in the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot when last over 5f. Vintage Clarets found life tough in the Gimcrack at York and also drops down in trip while Canonized will need to step up on her recent efforts in Pattern races. But the Irish filly GEOCENTRIC took a step forward when second to unbeaten stablemate Sacred Bridge in a Group 3 at the Curragh and Ger Lyons’ charge had shown plenty of pace when scoring over the minimum trip at Navan before that. Mitbaahy is another on the upgrade having placed in Listed company last time and is preferred to Vertiginous and Peggy Sioux of the rest.
KEEP BUSY (NAP) has faced tougher tasks than this since landing a Listed race over 5f here in June. She’s penalised for that success but John Quinn’s filly should prove too good for these back on fast ground. The Irish contingent are led by Listed runner-up White Lavender while Teresa Mendoza finished ahead of Russian River when third at Naas earlier and is also preferred to stablemate Let's. The progressive Tweet Tweet had the measure of Tenaya Canyon when winning a competitive handicap at York while Operatic may do better back over today’s minimum trip.
John Kirkup finished fourth in this last year ahead of Flying Pursuit and Call Me Ginger. The latter arrives in fine form on this occasion though is penalised for last week’s success at Doncaster. Bernardo O'Reilly has a shout on recent efforts in better company than this while both Fortamour and Danzan are at home at this level. The latter needs to reverse running with Ripon winner Mark's Choice, who beat several of these, while Boogie Time missed out on a four-timer when beaten at Newmarket and Secretinthepark has been winning over the minimum trip. Show Me Show Me also steps back up in distance but MUSICALITY has returned to a winning mark and Roger Varian’s charge gets a speculative vote to take advantage in the usual wide-open renewal.
Mark Johnston trained last year’s inaugural winner and LUCKY DEAL looks to have every chance. He’s not the most consistent but returns to this longer trip having won handicaps off higher marks in the past. Prince Imperial faced a more difficult task at York last time having scored in soft going at Pontefract earlier and it was testing ground when Beechwood Jude last won. Let Me Be is more versatile as regards the going though is raised in class while Haveyoumissedme is upped in distance and penalised for winning at Newcastle.
Tilsitt was engaged to run here yesterday having earlier finished behind MERRICOURT over track and trip. The latter landed a double here in July when also beating Bankawi and should be in the mix once again. Royal Regent and Little Ted were both successful over longer trips on their penultimate starts while the latter’s stablemate Al Erayg has tumbled down the weights. Bavardages went close in an amateurs' race last time but King Of Tonga looks stuck on his current mark.
Bringitonboris won a division of this last year but was due to run here yesterday. Beverley winner Motarajel and stablemate Temper Trap, who scored at Hamilton recently, are both worthy of consideration while Clay Regazzoni placed at Musselburgh last time. Tahonta finished third at Thirsk last month but was behind the runner-up RON O, who has yet to win but will be doing so imminently judged on recent placed efforts.
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