2019 Ayr Gold Cup Odds and Betting Preview
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As the days begin to shorten and the evenings grow longer, the 2019 Flat racing season is beginning to come to a conclusion. However, there are plenty of top-class races left before the culmination at Doncaster in early November.
This Saturday’s highlight comes from Scotland, and the Ayr Gold Cup, which is always a hugely competitive affair and a stiff task for punters with a plethora of runners to choose from. The race is due off at 15:50 BST and is the most prestigious race of their three-day fixture.
Date: September 21, 2019
This race was first run all the way back in 1804, and it was originally held at Ayr’s former racecourse at Belleisle. In the early part of its history it was restricted to horses bred and trained in Scotland. It was initially contested over two separate heats of two miles, and it was subsequently a single race with a two-mile distance.
The Ayr Gold Cup became a handicap in 1855, and it was shortened to about a mile in 1870. The Belleisle track closed in 1907, and the race was relocated and cut to six furlongs – which is the current distance – in 1908.
The field for the Ayr Gold Cup is formed from the highest-weighted horses entered for the race. The maximum number of runners is currently twenty-seven. Those eliminated are now offered the chance to compete in the Ayr Silver Cup, a consolation race introduced in 1992. An event for horses excluded from that race, the Ayr Bronze Cup, was established in 2009.
Just three favourites have been successful in the Ayr Gold Cup since 1980, with one of those – Son of Rest – being involved in a dead-heat with Baron Bolt in last years’ race. Baron Bolt is likely to take his chance again this year to try and win the £200,000 handicap outright.
That statistic proves how fiercely competitive the race is, but hopefully we can solve the puzzle in this preview. Please read on for our thoughts on the big handicap race of the weekend.
Buffer Zone, trained over the Irish Sea by Ger Lyons is the current ante-post favourite for the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday afternoon, and can be backed at the best industry price at the time of writing of 7/1 with the likes of Coral, William Hill and Ladbrokes. 888sport holds an enhanced odds of 50/1 on Buffer Zone To win the Ayr Gold Cup.
The four-year-old was last seen on the track on Sunday afternoon in winning another competitive 24-runner handicap at the Curragh, under jockey, Colin Keane. Buffer Zone took up the running in between the final two furlongs and held on for a decisive victory. This Irish Gamble has been raised by five pounds from the handicapper for Sunday’s win, but the manner of the victory would suggest that Lyons’ charge still holds strong claims in the race.
David O’Meara is one of the more promising young trainers in the flat racing fraternity and he has potentially five runners at his disposal for Saturday’s race.
Summerghand is a 12/1 chance with William Hill and 888Sport. Gulliver, is also a 12/1 poke with Coral. Arecibo, is a 14/1 shot, that is generally available, and is the choice of stable jockey, Danny Tudhope, while Cold Stare and Intisaab are 20/1 chances with William Hill (Cold Stare) and 33/1 with Betfred for Intisaab.
Of the quintet, I would pick two of those to have serious chances in the form of Gulliver and Arecibo.
Gulliver was in the race won by Buffer Zone last Sunday at the Curragh and finished in third position, under two lengths behind the winner. Gulliver was hampered in running at least twice on Sunday and that made a significant difference in his proximity to the winner. Gulliver also has the benefit of a five-pound pull in the weights with Buffer Zone, so providing that the five-year-old can navigate a clear path to the finishing line, Gulliver should be in the mix at the business end of the race.
Arecibo is more of a speedier type of racehorse, with six furlongs being towards the end of his racing compass. The ground is forecast to be firming up over the days leading up to the big race and that can be in the benefit for the four-year old son of Invincible Spirit. Arecibo has already raced an incredible ten times already this season, with his only win coming at Ayr, perhaps significantly, albeit over five furlongs. If the pace of the race is fierce early on, Arecibo can swoop late to enhance jockey Danny Tudhope’s chances of a first Jockey’s Championship at the end of the season.
Three Each-Way Hopefuls
With an expected field of 27 runners for this race, the possibilities are endless, but here are three more hopefuls, who could be in the winners’ enclosure.
Justanotherbottle, represents the Declan Carroll stable, is all about speed, something he showed when making all over the minimum trip at Sandown last month, and wasn’t suited by the heavy conditions when trailing home in third-last behind Baron Bolt and Son of Rest in this race last year. The dryer ground this time around will suit him well, and he heads here off the same mark as when finishing a fine second in the 2018 Stewards’ Cup. At 20/1 with William Hill and 888Sport, he is worth a second glance.
Major Jumbo found the Group 1 Sprint Cup too stiff of a contest at Haydock two weeks ago, but the Kevin Ryan charge produced a good effort to win a listed race at Chester prior to that, and is interesting on his first start in handicap company this term, for all that he has to shoulder a big weight. He can potentially make his presence felt at a generally available 20/1.
Finally, three-year olds have a poor record in the Ayr Gold Cup, with just two winners in the last 24 runnings of the race. A chance is taken on Tom Dascombe’s Angel Alexander at 33/1 with Coral and Betfred. Admittedly, this is a left-field pick, as Angel Alexander has shown better form over five furlongs and has performed better on softer conditions. However, he is rated 101 by the handicapper and finished around seven lengths behind Ayr Gold Cup top weight Mr Lupton in a six-furlong Listed contest at Chester last month. Dascombe’s charge is weighted to turn the tables this time around and could spring a surprise at huge odds.
An obviously wide open contest. This preview was compiled before the draw for the race and that could have a significant bearing – both positively and negatively – for our advised horses. However, the two I’m prepared to offer up for betting purposes are Gulliver and Justanotherbottle.
Buffer Zone has obvious claims following his recent Curragh win, but Gulliver was significantly hampered in the race, and after adding in the five-pound weight advantage this time around, he can get his head in front. Justanotherbottle is definitely worthy of each-way calculations and has plenty of big-field race experience which can only be a positive. The expected drier conditions can only be deemed as a plus also.
- Gulliver (each-way) at 12/1 with Ladbrokes
- Justanotherbottle (each-way) at 20/1 with William Hill