Our star columnist has a strong team heading to Ayr on Saturday including four bidding for Gold Cup glory.
Bengali Boys - 2.40 Ayr
I have four in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday and if one of them is well handicapped on their homework it’s Brian The Snail. I’m not saying he’ll win as his form on the track is disappointing but on the Musley Bank gallops he’s one of the best sprinters we’ve got. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a decent race.
George Bowen is rated 107 now which is as high as he’s ever been in his life. We’ve left Sebastian Woods on him here as he’s been getting a good tune out of the horse. He has won on soft ground but has to be a 115 or 116 horse to win this and I haven’t seen any signs of that at home.
Growl has been running out of his skin and I’ve always felt slower ground is what he wants. It’s not that he doesn’t go on a quicker surface but it just slows the race down when it’s like this and that suits. He’ll be coming home and picking up the pieces late on.
I thought Kimberella’s last run was very nearly his best of the season. He’s off 105 here and isn’t getting any younger but never discount this fellow.
Bengali Boys will love the ground in the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup. It’s been a frustrating year for him waiting for the rain. I’d have preferred it if he’d scraped into the Gold Cup with less weight on his back – he isn’t very big – but we claim weight off him with Seb’s claim and he’s in great order.
Gabrial The Saint will love the ground. He was hammered for winning at Leicester in May and has paid the penalty since but conditions suit here.
I thought Powerallied ran well in the Portland at Doncaster last time when he half missed the beat. If he stays six on this ground he’d have a small chance.
Private Matter is a disappointing horse. He ran well from a good draw at Chester last time. He needs his A game again here though.
I’m a little worried about the trip for Amber Spark in the opening QTS British Stallion Studs EBF Nursery. I’m not sure she really got home over it at Newcastle last time but she’d have a chance if she does stay.
I’ve stuck cheekpieces on Hoffa. He’s a horse who stays well and if he handles conditions this test of stamina is going to really suit.
I was a fraction disappointed with Ventura Bay’s last run at Thirsk but he has no weight on his back and if he stays on ground that will suit, he’d too would have a small chance.
Bordon is a tough, hardy horse who won’t mind the recent rain. He has a big chance in the William Hill Supporting The Fight Against Parkinson's Handicap.
Kodyanna is a half-sister to Darkanna and a tough filly. She’s another with a chance in the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes as she’ll handle conditions and the trip isn’t a problem.
Delph Cresent is a very tough horse and I thought he ran well at Beverley last time. He remains in good order heading into the William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Handicap.
Chelmsford probably didn’t suit Stamp Hill last time but the slow ground here will. If he’s over that last run he’d go well in the Microtech Group Handicap. Right Action is also declared having finished third here on Thursday. This is his ground.
Amazing Michelle won’t mind the ground and stays well. She’s not out of it in the closing Jordan Electrics Ltd Handicap.
Exhort is a filly we like a lot and she’s our first runner at Newbury in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap. I thought she ran well at Haydock last time when the winner just got first run on her. This is a very tough race as you’d expect for £75,000 but ours is a filly who is going the right way.
We’ve been aiming quite high with Mr Lupton of late and he drops in grade for the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes. I’d love to see him get his head in front again but he needs everything to drop right.
Zap picked up a valuable pot at Leopardstown last week and heads to Chelmsford for the Full Works Facilities Management Ltd Handicap. If we hadn’t come here he was finished for the season and we have to take it on trust he won’t mind the surface. If he does win he’d have a chance of getting in the Balmoral at Ascot on QIPCO Chanmpions Day and I just hope he’s over his exertions in Ireland.
Our younger jockeys have got some great tunes out of Fool For You and Rhiain Ingram, who won her at Wolverhampton last time, is aboard again in the Vintage And Prestige Cars Handicap. I thought it was a great effort at Dunstall Park and if she copes with it around here she can go well again.
Thierry tries very hard. I don’t the handicapper has been too kind with an opening mark of 64 for the Watch Racing UK With Free Trial Now Nursery but the track at Catterick will suit him.
The drop back to five furlongs really helped Essenza at Carlisle last time and any rain ahead of the Book Now For Saturday 20th October Nursery would definitely be in her favour.