Ayr Placepot: Saturday September 21

It's Ayr's biggest Flat card of the season today

Tackling Ayr today, with the Silver and Gold Cups as two of the legs, could be a case of having eyes bigger than our stomach, but the rewards for a successful perm are sure to be lucrative...

"Given the benefit a few runners, including Bronze Cup winner Circuitous, derived from running against the stands’ rail yesterday, many will be tempted to side with high-drawn runners in the Silver and Gold versions today."

13:30 - This is a competitive nursery, so there's always going to be a degree of danger, but a couple of them make particularly strong appeal as Placepot candidates. Braidley goes in first. He's been steadily progressive in his four starts to date, taking a big leap forward over seven furlongs last time. He's already proven over a mile and, if anything, shaped last time as though a return to further will suit, in line with his pedigree. The case for the Shot In The Sun isn't quite so clear-cut at first look, but she's really only run one bad race, when in inexperienced hands, and is unexposed over a trip which has long looked likely to suit. With Paul Hanagan in the saddle for the first time today, there's every reason to expect another bold showing.

14:05 - Even though leg two is down to just seven runners, it looks like one of our best opportunities for a banker. Sharestan is the class act, but on his first British start for Saeed Bin Suroor after six months off it's anyone's guess how he'll fare. First Mohican is a much better option, if not a perfect one. He'd been progressive up until a recent spell in Deauville, but he ran well on the first occasion in France and was then arguably caught out by the run of the race and jump in class in the Grand Prix last time. Back under conditions that saw him win a good handicap at York in May, First Mohican can have few excuses today.

14:40 - Given the benefit a few runners, including Bronze Cup winner Circuitous, derived from running against the stands' rail yesterday, many will be tempted to side with high-drawn runners in the Silver and Gold versions today. That's fair enough if you're trying to find a winner, but Placepot punting is so often about playing the percentages and, with so many possible scenarios, hedging our bets across the track, at least to some extent, is the recommended option. 

First in is the high-drawn An Saighdiur. He runs at least as many good races as bad ones- which is all you can ask of a sprint handicapper- and was third in this race last year from a similar mark to the one he shoulders today. Five stalls down in 22, Take Cover is also included. He ran a cracking race on his return from nine months off to finish second at Glorious Goodwood last time, while he's unexposed and is proven on softer ground. Our best option among the low-drawn horses is Singeur in stall five. He shaped like a horse back on the top of his game when second at Beverley last time and, though he does the majority of his racing over five furlongs, has put up his some of very best efforts over six.

15:15 - This is probably our least-taxing leg, as pairing up Valonia and Remember You ought to be enough to get us through the Firth of Clyde Stakes. It's Valonia that has been the stronger in the market this morning, with the form of her debut and the style of her success last time both suggested she'll be up to this hike in grade. On the other hand, Remember You has already been there and done it, finishing second at this level last time behind a well-regarded Ballydoyle colt. Without a blemish on her record so far, Remember You is as solid an option as we could wish for. If you want to keep the lines down, she'd be the more appealing banker of the two we're recommending.

15:50 - Our philosophy in the Gold Cup will be similar to that of the Silver Cup. Our two high-drawn runners are Tropics and Spinatrix. Both are well worth including on their own merit, Tropics being a rapid improver and strong traveller who ought to be suited by a big-field handicap (sixth in the Stewards' Cup as favourite on his only try); Spinatrix is also in the form of her live, coming clear with Baccarat (drawn 14 here) in the Great St Wilfrid last time. Our saver on the far side is Regal Parade, who has been campaigned in a manner that suggests this race, which he won in 2008 and was second in last year from a 6-lb higher mark, has been his target once again. 

16:25 - It'd be galling were we to make it through the two big-field sprints only to come undone in the last, so nothing fancy is advised in leg six. Brae Hill has come back to life in recent starts and can normally be relied upon once he gets going. Second in is Aeronwyn Bryn, whose only poor run since the spring came when upped to 10 furlongs on his penultimate start. There's no reason to think he can't keep his good recent record intact today.

Selections:
13:30 - 1, 7
14:05 - 2
14:40 - 3, 13, 22
15:15 - 8, 13
15:50 - 3, 6, 25
16:25 - 8, 10
= 72 lines

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