After a few weeks off from this post we take a look back at Ayr Gold Cup week and try to make some sense of the handicappers ups and downs.
I have added a post below marked BHA Handicappers blog which has a good write up of the Ayr Gold Cup and the Group 3 Dubai Airport World Trophy at Newbury last Saturday.
The latter was a tight finish and only a few lengths covered the first 8 or 9 with Astrophysical Jet prevailing once again and building on her Curragh win over Tax Free who let the form down this week at Bevrley. This was Astrophysical Jet's last run of the season and she is reportedly to be brought back for the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket next spring. Golden Destiny in 2nd sort of lets the form down a little bit as although she was rated 99 she wasnt given much chance in the betting going off at 40/1 and as a result of her closeness to the winner she has been raised 6lb to 105.
Prohibit in 3rd continued his good run of form and if he can be brought back in the same vein next year you could see him winning a Group race.
Earlier in the week Esprit De Midas showed a smart turn of foot at Haydock to win the Class 4 6f Hcap by 1 1/4 lenths from Lochan Mor and it would be no suprise to see him follow up off his 5lb higher mark of 90.
At Ayr on the Thursday the Class 5 Hcap over 5f went to Richard Fahey's Mango Music by 2 1/4 legths from Argentine in a time of 59.69s. The stands side held sway here and continued to do so later in the week too, Dispol Kylie was the first of those home on the far side by about 3 lengths and as a result she has been left on 65 so is capable of winning off that mark although she hasnt won since 2008.
That same afternoon at Pontefract saw the Class 3 6f Fillies Hcap go to Who's Shirl who won by a nose from Pepper Lane. It was run at a good pace and the time was only 0.29s outside standard so the form should stand up, the winner has been raised 5lb to 83 and the 2nd 4lb to 74 and both look capable of further progress up the ladder.
Back at Ayr for the Class 2 Bronze Cup on Friday and this went to Cheveton who was well handicapped on his old form, he also had the assistance of 5lb talented claimer Dale Swift. He bagged the favoured stands rail from his high draw and he just about managed to prevail from Dandy Nicholls Courageous who had run well the time before. Cheveton would probably have preferred even more cut in the going than here and he may well build on this from his 8lb higher mark of 93. First home on the unfavoured far side was Ancient Cross, he was drawn in stall 1 and he beat home Eton Rifles and Beat the Bell, he has subsequently been left on the same mark of 84. Of those behind Oldjoesaid didnt build on his last run and finished well back on the far side but he has been dropped a further 2lb 81 and he remains of interest if turning out in a lower grade. The time of the race was 1m 11.41s (1.21 slower than standard).
Earlier in the day Class 4 Hcap over 5f went to Hazelrigg by 2 1/2 lengths in a time of 58.70s, a second faster than the Class 5 the previous day and it wouldnt be a suprise to see him continue his good run off his new mark.
Onto Saturday again for the Silver and Gold Cups and the first went to the 3yo Colonel Mak by 3/4 length from Sonny Red. I think this was a decent performace as they raced up the unfavoured far side and finished 2 lengths in front of Misplaced Fortune on the stands side. The winner was racing off 93 here and will be off a 100 in future but he is the hands of David Barron a trainer who knows how to get the best out of a sprinter. I'm sure there is more to come from Colonel Mak and this was very competitive for a consolation race and was run in a time of 1m 10.97 (0.77 slower than standard). Of those behind Bonnie Charlie was droppped 3lb to a mark of 92 and two that didnt get very good runs were Tiddliwinks and Able Master who have both been left on their same marks of 94 and 95 and can both figure in futrue races.
The Gold Cup was won by Redford who showed that he is up to Group class sprints on this showing as he won readily from Victoire De Lyphar by 2 1/4 lengths in a time of 1m 10.26s (0.06 slower than standard). It made it a 1-2 for Dandy Nicholls in a race he has now won 6 times in the last 11 years.
It was certainly a top class sprint that had all the major players from the season so far with Genki finishing well in 4th having run well in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup.
On a different note 2 other horses that caught my eye over the weekend were Cumulus Nimbus at Newbury and Oceans Minstrel at Newmarket and I think the latter could be a value bet in the Cesarewitch over 2m 2f.
Dont forget to look in over the weekend as there are some decent sprints taking place at my local track Haydock.