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Bielsa lands Ayr Gold Cup under superb ride from Kevin Stott

Sat 18 Sep 2021

Enjoy a full replay of a thrilling Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup plus watch reaction from an overjoyed Kevin Ryan and Kevin Stott in our report.

A brave ride from Kevin Stott enabled Bielsa to secure big-race honours in the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup.

With the results of Friday’s Bronze Cup and the Silver Cup earlier on Saturday’s card suggesting a low draw was favourable over the sprint distance of six furlongs, it looked like Bielsa would have his work cut out drawn highest of all in stall 25.

As the stalls opened, the majority of the field split into two groups, with several horses racing on the far side of the track and another batch going down the middle.

The Kevin Ryan-trained Bielsa (15-2), however, ploughed a lone furrow against the stands’ side rail, which ultimately proved a masterstroke.

Great Ambassador, the 3-1 favourite, careered clear of his rivals on the far side inside the final furlong, but Bielsa galloped straight and true and was two and a quarter lengths clear passing the post.

Ryan, winning the Ayr Gold Cup for a fifth time, told ITV Racing: “I spoke to Alistair Donald (racing manager for winning owners King Power Racing) this morning and said ‘we’re on the rail, it’s fresh ground, and he likes to go that way anyway’.

“It’s great to train a winner like this for King Power. They’ve been very patient with this horse and I’m chuffed really.

“He’s a very talented horse. It just hasn’t happened this year. Things go wrong and you get little niggles, but that’s what gets you an Ayr Gold Cup – they generally get there fresh and well.

“We’ve won four Ayr Gold Cups and you wonder if you’re going to win another one.

“They were all Group horses and this horse is a Group horse.”

Hollie Doyle and Nazanin claimed a last-gasp victory in the Virgin Bet Firth of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr.

A field of 14 juvenile fillies went to post for the Group Three contest, with the Archie Watson-trained Nazanin a 16-1 shot after finishing a well-beaten eighth in last month’s Lowther Stakes at York.

Deep inside the final furlong, the main of the action took place on the far side of the track, with Canonized – turning out just 24 hours after finishing fifth in a Listed event at the Scottish track – locked in battle with Hala Hala Athmani and Irish raider Head Mistress.

But ploughing a lone furrow down the centre, Doyle and Nazanin finished with a flourish to get up and deny Canonized by a short head, with Hala Hala Athmani and Head Mistress close up in third and fourth respectively.

Doyle told ITV Racing: “She’s been taking steps forward. In the Lowther last time, the ground was very quick and I didn’t think she let herself down, but today I let her use herself and she’s got through that ground lovely.

“It’s just so good for Archie and the connections.

“She’s been highly tried on her last two runs, so it’s always a bit worrying, you don’t know if you’re overfacing them, but we’ve always known she’s got the ability. It’s excellent she’s done that today.”

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