I target the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup meeting every year and will hopefully secure a few winners again this year, plus have a good time as I will be attending all three days... but I am certainly not alone.
Punters should note that Keith Dalgleish and Iain Jardine will set out to defend local pride at the Western Meeting.
Northern trainers to side with include John Quinn and Karl Burke and, of the southern trainers, Ralph Beckett and Andrew Balding’s runners do not come up solely to take the air on the West Coast of Scotland.
This horse is one of the few that has not been a success since moving to the Roger Fell yard and there clearly look to have been issues.
However, he has been persevered with and is now 2st lower in the ratings than when Fell took him on as a Listed-class performer from Ger Lyons.
It is mainly faith in the Roger Fell operation that makes me feel he is worth sticking with for a while yet.
It is true Elusive Heights did not show much on his reappearance in August but he has only ever finished last on heavy ground and I am happy to see that run purely as a warm-up.
He certainly looked as though he could win a race of this nature when performing with some credit in the second half of last season. He didn’t enjoy the best of runs on more than one occasion and clearly has retained ability.
If he gets the breaks on ground that suits, he can at least hit the frame. Roger Fell does well on his visits to Ayr, too.
This consistent horse has an obvious chance in a race that will be run to suit. I have no doubt Iain Jardine will have winners at this meeting and I will be watching the market on all four of his runners on Thursday afternoon.
From his draw in stall six, I expect Equidae to get the lead and hopefully hang on to the line. He could easily have been raised for his last two efforts off this mark as he has come up against back to form types, but he remains on 65, a mark he has won off in the past.
This one has the form figures of a placepot banker and backing Jardine’s runners each-way in handicaps at this meeting in recent years has been a very profitable strategy.
Just the three runs over trip short of what would be ideal for such a stoutly-bred type, this horse will have a big “careful” ringed around it on the bookmaker’s early tissue.
Mick Easterby has not changed his methods over the years and a much improved run in a handicap can be expected soon.
The mark is definitely fair as his last run behind two decent types caught the eye and he could have easily been rated higher.
He is the only unexposed type in this field and my approach will be to watch the market and, if he does not drift markedly from a no doubt defensive opening price, I will be taking that as a positive and stepping in.
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