Simon Holt feels Get Knotted will revel in the testing conditions on Saturday - he has three tips for Willam Hill Ayr Gold Cup day.
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Saturday's William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is always a good test at the six-furlong trip and, with ground conditions set to remain searching, the seven-furlong specialist GET KNOTTED is fancied to go close in his bid for a third course win.
Besides those victories, the Michael Dods-trained gelding also finished a close second in the Ayr Silver Cup (off a 1lb lower mark) in 2016 on good to soft going and, while versatile with regard to underfoot conditions, his record suggests an easy surface is highly suitable.
Despite racing off a similar mark two years on from that effort, Get Knotted has seemed better than ever this season, winning at York (7f soft) in late July after solid seconds behind Above The Rest (Mutadab third, Golden Apollo fifth) and Wadilsafa on the same course previously.
Back on the Knavesmire again at last month's Ebor meeting, he was beaten less than four lengths into eighth behind Poet's Society despite not appearing so well suited by a mile. With his decent course record here and preferred surface, Callum Rodriguez's mount will be hard to keep out of the frame.
At the weights, Muntadab, another soft ground specialist, has every chance with the selection on that previous meeting at York but, for me, he is not quite so reliable and was only 12th in that 2016 Silver Cup.
A possible blot on the handicap is the Irish raider Son Of Rest who has taken a sharp rise in the Irish ratings after splitting smart sprinters Havana Grey and Sioux Nation in the Group One Flying Five at the Curragh last weekend.
Well at home on soft ground, the son of Pivotal must be respected though it's questionable how well he will see this out.
Of the many others with chances, 2016 runner-up Growl has decent claims despite having declined overall subsequently (though he was still a good third in this year's Stewards' Cup at Goodwood) while Aces, a soft ground winner in France and successful over six and seven furlongs at Epsom and Newmarket for his shrewd trainer Ian Williams earlier in the summer, also catches the eye.
This year's William Hill Ayr Silver Cup looks at least as difficult to solve as the main event but AL QAHWA will certainly have conditions in his favour.
The ex-Irish-trained gelding must have soft ground and has slipped a couple of pounds in the weights since going close at Ripon (6f good/soft) back in April since when he raced three times on a quicker surface before showing much more promise when a staying-on sixth from a very bad draw in a 26-runner handicap at the Curragh (6f good/yielding) last Sunday.
Al Qahwa now runs off the same mark as when beating the aforementioned Muntadab on soft going at York in May, 2017 while his handler David O'Meara has another leading contender in Cold Stare, who carries a 5lb penalty for a seven-furlong, soft ground win at Haydock just over a fortnight ago.
In the Group Three William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes, a chance is taken on LIGHT MY FIRE springing a surprise under conditions which should suit her well.
Tom Dascombe's filly lost her unbeaten record when beaten a neck by the re-opposing Glass Slippers at Chester last time but was closing fast at the line having been held up at the back of the field and looking uneasy on the course in the early stages.
A winner on the soft at Ripon first time out, the daughter of Dragon Pulse (out of the staying influence of a Monsun mare) beat two subsequent winners at Wolverhampton next time and, while some way behind the likes of Queen Of Bermuda and Shumookhi on the ratings here, looks sure to hit the line strongly.