Ayr Gold Cup & Mill Reef Day Preview.


Saturday 18th September 2021

Author: Jordan Yates

“A warm welcome to this week’s Saturday Preview where my attention turns to Ayr and Newbury where it’s Gold Cup day up at the Scottish track and Mill Reef Day down at Newbury. First of all, I’ll take a look back at what’s gone on during the week on the site with The Punts. We started off the week well with 2 winners on Monday with Discomatic (9/2) and Lil Guff (7/2) both going in. Unfortunately, on Tuesday it wasn’t to be with just a couple of placed efforts to note, before a monumental clean sweep on Wednesday with all four out of the four selections going in, culminating with a 8/1 winner in Sudona. We then followed up on Thursday with a 5/1 winner at Ayr’s first day of their Gold Cup meeting with Ventura Rascal. Finally, on Friday only a place was managed on The Punts with Geometric finishing third at 9/2, the other three picks failed to fire.

I’ll be taking a look at two races from Ayr in this week’s preview along with four from Newbury. So, as ever, enjoy!”

– Jordan


The first race I’ll be looking at from Ayr is the 3:05 which is the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes over the six furlongs. I’m going to take another chance on Hellomydarlin here for George Boughey and David Allan, who’s currently trading at around the 7/1 mark. I tipped her up last time when she finished second in the Champion Two-Year-old race at Ripon, she’s very much one of the more exposed in the line-up here and it’s likely that there could be a few to progress past her, but she does have a lot more proven form in the book than most of them and if a few aren’t up to the level required here she offers solid each-way value.

The big one comes at 3:40 in Scotland which is the Ayr Gold Cup, one of the most fiercely competitive sprint handicaps on the planet, and this year is no different. As I so often do with this type of contest I’ve had two arrows at the field, and the first of these comes in the form of the Kevin Ryan trained Bielsa who’s the mount of Kevin Stott. He’s not been seen since finishing sixth in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood in July which gives the impression that this race has clearly been the target. He’s not a stranger to big handicaps like this and has run creditable races in many of them, the six-year-old will run off what looks a manageable mark and has every chance of running a big race once more.  The second one quite like here is Ostilio for Paul Midgely and Billy Garritty, who you can find currently at around 11/1. He’s also a six-year-old and was last seen when running a solid race in fourth in Listed company at Beverley last month. Most notably though he’s running off a mark much lower than what he’s previously won off, having once claimed Group 2 honours and a Royal Ascot win. Now representing a training that excels with sprinters, I think he could well run a big one here.


The first race I’ll look at from Newbury is the 2:15 which is the Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes. Contested over five furlongs I’m siding with the William Haggas trained Hurricane Ivor here who’s currently a 9/2 shot under Tom Marquand. He’s always been a talented sort and he showcased said talent last time out when winning the Portland at the St Leger Meeting at Doncaster, and it’s likely he’ll progress again from that success as he’s only a four-year-old. Questions have been asked about his ability on ground with give in it, however, he has good winning form in France on Good to Soft winning so I don’t see it being an issue.

Next up at the Berkshire track is the 2:50 which is another Group 3 event this time though coming in the form of the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes, which is ridden over a mile and three furlongs. I think this can go to William Haggas again as I believe Al Aasy will be too strong for them here. He’s disappointed the last twice when being a beaten short-priced favourite, mostly recently in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket which followed his defeat to Pyledriver in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom. He’s in calmer waters here though and this ease in Grade represents a great opportunity to get back into the Winners Enclosure at a track that he enjoyed success at earlier in the season when claiming Group 3 honours in the Success Stakes and Al Rayyan Stakes.

It’s handicap company next at Newbury with the 3:25 being the Dubai Duty Free Handicap which is raced over a mile and two furlongs. I like the Aramaic here, and again, it’s for that man William Haggas. Set to be ridden by Tom Marquand he looked a very exciting prospect last time out at York where he put some decent rivals to the sword by the tune of over 3 lengths. I think he fits that bill of the old cliche of a group rated horse in a handicap and if that’s so he could take a lot of beating here.

Concluding my preview is the Mill Reef Stakes which takes is a Group 2 affair that takes place at 4:00. The race is ridden over a distance of six furlongs and I think the Gosden trained Dhabab will be tough to beat here who’s the mount of Rob Havlin. The yard have had success in the race before and it’s likely that this two-year-old son of No Nay Never has had this assignment as a target for some time, having not been seen on the track since July. That appearance came at Newmark in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes where he finished third and just over a length behind the winner Native Trail, who handed a Group 1 beating to the very smart Point Lonsdale last week at the Irish Champions Weekend. That form speaks for itself and if this highly regarded colt runs anywhere near to that level here he’s got to be considered a massive player. An honourable mention also has to go to Gis A Sub, who I think can run a big race here at an each-way price.


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