Saturday Racing Tips: Classy Ryan gelding Awaits the Glory in Ayr Gold Cup

We're off to Ayr for Tony's big-price fancy Glory Awaits in the big sprint at 15:45
We're off to Ayr for Tony's big-price fancy Glory Awaits in the big sprint at 15:45

On a day of hugely competitive handicaps our big-price tipster Tony Calvin is relishing the prospect of finding a winner in one of the big sprints at Ayr, while our man also has recommended bets at Newbury and Newmarket...

"It's a longshot but that's how we roll in this column, and trainer Kevin Ryan has won this race three times in the last eight years."

Back Glory Awaits at 44.043/1 in the 15:45 at Ayr

Glory Awaits looks a massive price at 44.043/1 or bigger to spring a surprise in the Ayr Gold Cup at 15:45.

It takes a big leap of faith to side with a horse who has not run over 6f or in a handicap since his two-year-old days, and there is the obvious possibility that he may be taken off his feet early against some specialist speedsters. And he isn't in peak form, either.

But he is no slouch himself pace-wise and in fact he has led and beaten some decent fields - he saw off Our Channel and Toormore when winning a 1m Group 2 in Turkey last season - and he only went down by 1/2 length to Tullius in the Doncaster Mile back in March.

He has been highly-tried since, most notably in the Queen Anne - where he was only sent off a 66-1 chance - but he drops down to a handicap mark of 107, which is 5lb lower than he was rated after the aforementioned Doncaster effort.

And his rider Gary Halpin looks to be decent value for his 5lb claim.

He kept it simple when landing a gamble on Kelinni at Leopardstown last Saturday, making all, and hopefully he can get Glory Awaits prominent from the start from stall 18, as I think the horse has the class to make his presence felt in a strongly-run 6f in this grade.

It's a longshot but that's how we roll in this column, and trainer Kevin Ryan has won this race three times in the last eight years.

Jack Dexter and Highland Acclaim would be my other two against the field but as they are second and third favourites that isn't telling you anything that you don't know.


In the Silver Cup at 14:35 Jamaican Bolt is hopefully poised to return to his best. And that may well be good enough considering he has now dropped down to the same mark as when winning at Doncaster last October.

He was given a break after disappointing over 7f at Doncaster in May but shaped pretty well - though admittedly I would have liked to see him travel more strongly early on - on his first start since at the same track last week, for which he has been dropped 2lb.

The quick turnaround isn't a problem - two of his four victories have come after just a 10-day break or less - and he is weighted to go close.


To carry on the "total rag tipping" theme, I have to chuck a few quid at Zand at 27.026/1 in the 14:50 at Newbury.

Simply put, the handicapper has given him a massive chance by dropping him 10lb for two modest runs at Goodwood (where he was sent off at 10-1 in a very competitive race) and Haydock. And I don't think he should have.

Obviously, you have to forgive him those opening two poor starts for Mark Johnston, but I think it could simply be that he didn't find the ground soft enough on either occasion. Certainly, his best efforts to date have come in testing ground and that is what I am expecting at Newbury on Saturday.

And while there is a certain element of guesswork as to whether he is well handicapped, the formbook strongly suggests that he is.

His Strasbourg win in September 2014 is hard to gauge accurately but it did see him beat a subsequent winner in second, while the third won a Group three by four lengths on his next start, and the fourth won a listed contest two runs later. Not too shabby for a now 92-rated horse.

To cap it off, he is drawn in stall one, ideally placed to bounce out to try to make all, and I can easily see him being another example of a Johnston horse putting modest recent efforts behind him given better conditions.


The Cesarewitch Trial at 15:50 isn't on Channel 4 this year but I make no excuses for going slightly out of my terrestrial remit by tipping Cassells Rock.

When I first looked at this race on Thursday afternoon I honestly thought he'd be a 7-2 chance, tops, so I'll be having a decent smash at 8.07/1 or better.

I know that there are blurred lines between Irish and English handicap marks but how Cassells Rock has got in here off a mark of 84 is a mystery to me, as his last Flat start in Ireland saw him split Toe The Line and Silwana, with Bayan three lengths back in fourth, off 85 in a Leopardstown 1m6f handicap in September 2014.

Toe The Line is now rated 16lb higher at 102, Silwana 18lb higher after winning by four lengths on Sunday and Bayan won the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on his very next start.

So let's just say the handicapper has been kind to my selection, especially as Cassells Rock showed his well-being when winning over hurdles at Down Royal last month.

And it isn't as if the ever-shrewd Tony Martin needs any second invitation to exploit an attractive mark in England.

His previous strike rate and record in this country has been overplayed but this year he has sent over four horses.

Heartbreak City dotted up at York, Quick Jack finished second in a Chester Cup before disappointing next time, Elishpour finished third in the Ascot Stakes and Dark Crusader was also in the frame in the Galtres Stakes.

The 2m2f trip is obviously an unknown but he has winning form over 2m on the Flat and 2m4f over hurdles in Ireland.

He simply screams out to be backed at around 7-1.

Recommended Bets

Back Jamaican Bolt at 26.025/1 in the 14:35 at Ayr
Back Zand at 27.026/1 in the 14:50 at Newbury
Back Glory Awaits at 44.043/1 in the 15:45 at Ayr
Back Cassells Rock at 8.07/1 in the 15:50 at Newmarket

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