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ITV Racing Tips: Can Staxton follow up in the Ayr Gold Cup?

| 18.09.2020

Ed Chamberlin and co. have lined up another blockbuster eight-race card on ITV this Saturday, with the ultra-competitive Ayr Gold Cup and Mill Reef Stakes taking centre-stage.

Who’ll sound the siren and complete a big race Ayr raid up in Scotland, and which of the eight two-year-olds down at Newbury will put themselves in the frame for the Middle Park or the Dewhurst?

We’ve previewed those races, plus a fascinating renewal of the Dubai International World Trophy Stakes, in our ITV Racing Tips.


The market doesn’t always get it right in the Ayr Gold Cup. The last two winners have gone in at 28/1, while only Donjuan Triumphant in 2017 and Don’t Touch in 2015 have won the race at single digit odds since the millennium.

That could make things difficult for the principals this time around, although last week’s Curragh scorer Mr Lupton and taking Newbury winner Nahaarr will have their suitors, even if the latter did bomb out in the Stewards’ Cup.

Of those near the top, the hat-trick seeking Staxton could be one to keep onside for a trainer in Tim Easterby who recorded a 3,977/1 treble at Ayr as part of a 56,686/1 across-the-card-five-timer on Thursday.

His inmate is seeking a hat-trick under a 5lb penalty in the Gold Cup after winning back-to-back races at Ripon in August, including the Great St Wilfrid Handicap. His draw could be better, but he’s in the form of his life and near certain to post another good account with Duran Fentiman on-board.

Elsewhere, Another Batt is a course and distance winner and remains well treated, while Gulliver and Rayong are both well-drawn at opposite ends but need to rediscover their past form. However, in a race like this it’s usually advisable to look for each-way value, and there’s every chance that may come in the form of Gabrial The Wire.

A quick look at his form would suggest he doesn’t have much hope, but Richard Fahey is a canny operator, and recent poor runs at Chester are below his ability. The form to look at is his fifth in the Silver Wokingham at Royal Ascot at odds of 50/1.

Gabrial The Wire raced on the near side that afternoon whereas the first four home all raced on the far side. We think that form can be boosted as a result, and another similar performance from an encouraging draw could see him sneak a place up at Ayr.


The likes of Ribchester and Harry Angel have both won this race in recent memory, and Dark Angel colt Rhythm Master whose sire also won the Mill Reef looks poised to keep it in the family on Saturday.

Another one for Richard Fahey, Rhythm Master won well on debut at Haydock and followed that up with an impressive third in the Group 1 Prix Morny behind Queen Mary winner Campanelle and Coventry winner Nando Parrado. He still showed signs of greenness over in France, which suggests he’s capable of even better here.

He’s the one to beat, with Fivethousandtoone, Listed winner Bahrain Pride and four-timer-seeking Line Of Departure, who won a valuable sales race at Doncaster last week, all set to throw down challenges.


Lazuli is a horse who impressed us earlier in the season and he could be worth another go here. Charlie Appleby’s inmate romped home over 5f at Sandown earlier in the season but has been beaten twice since in the Coral Charge and at Deauville.

He’s had over a month off since his last assignment which may allow him to recapture the winning thread. Rival Equilateral is the one to beat under Hollie Doyle as he steps back down in class having run consistently well in Group 1 company, while Tis Marvellous and Wise Words should also be on the premises.


13:40 Newbury – Dubai International World Trophy Stakes (Group 3)

13:55 Ayr – Doonside Cup Stakes (Listed)

14:15 Newbury – Dubai Duty Free Handicap

14:30 Ayr – Ayr Silver Cup

14:50 Newbury – Legacy Cup Stakes (Group 3)

15:05 Ayr – Scotty Brand Firth Of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3)

15:25 Newbury – Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2)

15:40 Ayr – Ayr Gold Cup

View the latest Horse Racing odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.