ITV Racing Tips: Summerghand can defy top weight in Ayr Gold Cup
Scotland takes centre stage as the Ayr Western Meeting climaxes with one of the most competitive races in the calendar, the Ayr Gold Cup.
It is so competitive that there are Bronze and Silver versions of the sprint, consolation prizes that could at least provide some clues as to whether there is a particular draw advantage.
Great Ambassador is favourite to confirm Ed Walker’s status as a supreme trainer of sprinters, already having won three of his five starts this year.
Ayr, which also stages the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes, shares the airwaves with Newbury where two Group 3 races complement the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes.
Altogether there will be nine races shown on ITV with coverage beginning at 13:30 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
Once billed as Britain’s only Arc trial by past Newbury management, it’s a title that was never taken seriously by participants.
That said, the likely hot favourite Al Aasy was entered in the Longchamp showpiece, for which he was looking like a credible contender at the start of the year.
He won his first two races, both at Newbury, in a canter but his attitude was questioned when he was beaten by Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup, having been outfought after going to the lead.
He is now a gelding, so can’t run in the Arc, and this will be his first start since. Assuming he hasn’t gone backwards, he should still be too good for this field.
A 24-runner field and a pretty wide open contest that is going to prove hard to unravel. We will have to wait and see whether the draw has an impact, but Ed Walker will hope there is no bias as favourite Great Ambassador has landed stall one.
That has not proved a great spot in previous runnings but low numbers have done well in the Silver Cup, and the two races are run over the same course.
Great Ambassador looks like a typical Walker improver on his way to Group level. He has strong claims, but top weight Summerghand is already Group level.
He has run in the race twice, finishing fourth in 2019, but his form has hit another level since, winning a Group 3 and Listed prize this year, and was beaten under four lengths in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Sean Kirrane’s 5lb claim will cancel out his 5lb penalty and he will be a big threat from the opposite side of the track to the favourite. Stablemate Gulliver is another not to be discounted.
Despite the stable’s success at Newbury, particularly with two-year-olds, Richard Hannon has yet to win this race.
That’s surprising considering his Dad claimed the first of his four victories in the race’s inaugural year in 1972 with Mon Fils, who won the 2,000 Guineas the following year.
Hannon Jr could break his maiden this year with Gubbass already a winner of the track’s Super Sprint. That was over 5f but despite not winning since he showed every indication that 6f suits when fifth in the Group 1 Prix Morny last time out. He is in calmer waters here.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 18th September
13:55 Ayr – Doonside Cup
14:15 Newbury – World Trophy Stakes
14:30 Ayr – Ayr Silver Cup
14:50 Newbury – Legacy Cup
15:05 Ayr – Firth Of Clyde Stakes
15:25 Newbury – 1m2f handicap
15:40 Ayr – Ayr Gold Cup
16:00 Newbury – Mill Reef Stakes
16:15 Ayr – 1m handicap
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing