Horse Racing Tips

Ayr Gold Cup: Timeform's expert verdict

Horse racing at Ayr
Ayr stages its feature Flat raceday on Saturday

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday.

  • Timeform's guide to the Ayr Gold Cup


Ayr Gold Cup
15:35 Ayr, Saturday
Live on ITV4

1. Summerghand (David O'Meara/ Daniel Tudhope)

A superb servant to connections who has got right back on song of late, dead-heating at York before finishing a very good fourth at the Curragh when not enjoying the clearest of passages. Took this 12 months ago and he's a big player once more.

2. Rohaan (David Evans/ Ben Curtis)

Smart sprinter at his best but yet to hit top form this term, albeit not disgraced when tenth in the Sprint Cup at Haydock two weeks ago. Enters calculations back in handicap company.

3. Fast Response (Karl Burke/ Brandon Wilkie (7))

Signed off last term with a win in a six-furlong listed race at Doncaster and showed a similar level of form when runner-up in a listed race at Chester last month. Can't be ruled out back in handicap now.

4. Northern Express (Michael Dods/ Paul Mulrennan)

Consistent sort who has won the Thirsk Hunt Cup over a mile and a seven-furlong handicap at York this term. Finished a good fifth in a competitive mile handicap back at York last time and this free-going sort is very much one for the shortlist dropped in trip.

5. Desert Cop (Andrew Balding/ PJ McDonald)

Posted a smart effort to win a valuable conditions race at Newcastle on All Weather Finals Day and was also a good sixth in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot. Has been well below par on his last two runs, however, so has something to prove.

6. Montassib (William Haggas/ Cieren Fallon)

Landed a seven-furlong handicap at Newmarket in May and got back on track when eighth in the competitive International Stakes at Ascot in July. Holds possibilities off a 1 lb lower mark.

7. Orazio (Charles Hills/ Jim Crowley)

Low-mileage four-year-old who looked a sprinter going places when landing six-furlong handicaps at Newmarket and Ascot during the spring. Was down the field in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood last time but remains handily weighted and shouldn't be written off after a break.

8. Gweedore (Katie Scott/ William Pyle (5))

Likeable type who won back-to-back seven-furlong handicaps at Doncaster and Newmarket this summer. Rare below-par efforts on his last two runs, however, so needs to bounce back.

9. Aberama Gold (David O'Meara/ Mark Winn (3))

Dual winner for Keith Dalgleish in June who showed better form to land a strong six-furlong handicap at York and the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood. Has been well held the last twice, including in the Portland at Doncaster last time, but no surprise to see this C&D scorer get back in the mix.

10. Escobar (David O'Meara/ David Allan)

Showed smart form to win a seven-furlong handicap at Ascot last October. Has yet to scale the same heights this season, though, and beat only one home at Ascot a couple of weeks ago so others appeal more.

11. Gorak (Charlie Fellowes/ Mikkel Mortensen (7))

Produced useful efforts to land a couple of seven-furlong handicaps in the spring and has since shown smart form in defeat on a couple of occasions. Hasn't been so good on his last two starts, though, and shaped as if amiss at Newmarket last time so needs to get back on track.

12. Albasheer (Archie Watson/ Hollie Doyle)

Dead-heated with Summerghand in a six-furlong handicap at York and shaped as if still in good form when an unlucky-in-running eighth at the Curragh a couple of weeks ago. Saddled with a 5 lb penalty for his York win but can go well again.

13. Ramazan (Richard Fahey/ Oisin Orr)

Landed a seven-furlong handicap at Haydock in July and resumed his progress to bag a valuable prize (also over seven furlongs) at Chepstow last month. Is up another 3 lb but he's going the right way so remains one to consider back at six furlongs.

14. Bielsa (Kevin Ryan/ Rowan Scott)

Won this in 2021 and has got right back to his best this term, finishing third in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood last time having also scored at York in the spring. Must enter calculations for a yard which has a fine record in this contest.

15. Juan les Pins (Michael Appleby/ Alistair Rawlinson)

Hasn't looked back since joining his current yard and landed a fourth six-furlong handicap for the stable when scoring at Nottingham in June. Excellent second in a six-furlong listed race at York last time so he's very much in the picture in a race in which he finished third last season.

16. Lethal Levi (Karl Burke/ Clifford Lee)

Has yet to score this term but has posted some good efforts in defeat, including when fourth in a six-and-a-half-furlong handicap at Doncaster last week. The visor goes on and he can make his presence felt again.

17. Magical Spirit (Kevin Ryan/ Tom Eaves)

Landed the Ayr Silver Cup in 2020. Not disgraced when sixth behind Aberama Gold in a six-furlong handicap at York in July and is no forlorn hope off an easing mark for a yard with an excellent record here.

18. Mr Wagyu (John Quinn/ Jason Hart)

Course-and-distance winner who has also finished third and fifth in the past two runnings of this. Got back on track when third in a six-furlong handicap at the Curragh a couple of weeks ago so he ought to be in the shake-up once more.

19. Aleezdancer (Kevin Ryan/ Shane Gray)

Kickstarted 2023 with success in the mud at Doncaster and was back on form under similar conditions when fifth in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood last time. Not ruled out if conditions turn very testing.

20. Probe (Jennie Candlish/ Frederick Larson (3))

Proved resurgent for his new yard when winning six-furlong handicaps at Wolverhampton and Newmaket in the spring. Has been off the track since down the field in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket in July but he goes well fresh so shouldn't be underestimated.

21. Paws For Thought (Donald McCain/ Robert Whearty (5))

Rattled off a hat-trick in six and seven-furlong handicaps in the summer. Was poorly drawn when only eighth in a five-and-a-half furlong handicap at Chester three weeks ago and is the sort to bounce back.

22. Significantly (Julie Camacho/ Joe Fanning)

Resumed winning ways for his current yard at Haydock in July and has continued in excellent form, just failing in the Portland at Doncaster a week ago. Merits serious consideration off an unchanged mark.

23. Mondammej (Antony Britain/ Cam Hardie)

Useful sort at his best but is on a lengthy losing run and has been below form in recent outings. It's easy to look elsewhere.

24. Lequinto (Tony Carroll/ Connor Beasley)

Has his quirks but he scored at Windsor in June and has posted solid efforts in defeat at Windsor and Wolverhampton since. This demands more, however.

25. It Just Takes Time (Mark Walford/ Dougie Costello)

Gained his second success of 2023 at Ripon in June but he has been below form of late and was only sixth at Doncaster last week. Others are preferred.


Timeform's Analyst Verdict:

A superb renewal of the Ayr Gold Cup and once more it could go the way of David O'Meara's most likeable veteran SUMMERGHAND who shows absolutely no signs of slowing down at the age of nine and can swoop late to repeat his fine 2022 victory. Significantly just failed in Doncaster's Portland and seems sure to be in the mix once more along with last year's third Juan Les Pins. Orazio remains with potential and also can't be ruled out. Bielsa, Northern Express and Ramazan complete the shortlist.

Timeform's 1-2-3:

1. Summerghand
2. Significantly
3. Juan les Pins

Back Summerghand @ 13.012/1 on the Betfair Exchange

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