Ayr Gold Cup preview: Handicap snip Son Of Rest all set for Ayr Gold Cup raid

Fri 21 Sep 2018

Fozzy Stack hopes the handicapper is right ahead of Son Of Rest’s bid for glory in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.

A close second in Group One company last weekend, he drops back down into supposedly calmer waters in Scotland.

Because he pushed Havana Grey so close in the Flying Five, the handicapper raised him 10lb – but he gets to run off his old mark as the prestigious handicap is an early-closing race.

Despite the rough weather, Stack was pleased to report Son Of Rest got to Scotland without a hiccup.

Fozzy Stack (second from right) is looking for more big-race glory
Fozzy Stack (second from right) is looking for more big-race glory

“He got there at 8pm on Thursday night, I’m pleased to say,” said Stack.

“Now all we have to hope for is that the handicapper is right and that he is 10lb well-in.

“It was five furlongs last week and he finished strong, the ground can’t be soft enough for him and he stayed six furlongs as a two-year-old.”

G Force (light blue) won the Haydock Sprint Cup in his younger days
G Force (light blue) won the Haydock Sprint Cup in his younger days

Fellow Irish raider G Force is back for another crack, having finished fourth in 2016.

“We’re happy enough with the draw (23) and we’re happy with the way the ground is. We wouldn’t even mind a bit more rain,” said trainer Adrian Keatley.

“Some of his form from earlier in the year with horses like Son Of Rest would give him a good chance.

“He hasn’t had any issues. The only reason he hasn’t run in a while is because he can’t handle quick ground.

“This race has been the long-term plan and we’re looking forward to it.”

David Barron’s Gunmetal has won three from five since joining from Charlie Hills and turned the Great St Wilfrid into a procession last time out.

“I think we’ll all a bit wiser about the draw come Saturday afternoon. There looks to be a few fancied ones around us, so we’ll see,” said Barron.

“The horse seems in very good form. We’re very happy with him.

“I’m petrified about the ground. He has some very good form on fast ground and if he can do the same on heavy ground he must be some horse.

“This will probably be his last run of the season, so we’ll give it a go and see what happens.”

Justanotherbottle (yellow) was reeled in by Gifted Master in the Stewards' Cup
Justanotherbottle (yellow) was reeled in by Gifted Master in the Stewards' Cup

Justanotherbottle was agonisingly beaten in photo in the Stewards’ Cup, but Declan Carroll is another worried about the ground somewhat.

“It’s an unfashionable draw (25), but we’ll just have to wait and see how it works out. We’ll have a better idea after the Bronze and Silver Cups have been run, I suppose.

“He’s in great form and we’ll take our chance despite the ground. It wouldn’t be his favourite surface, but he hasn’t been on it much and ran all right on it at Doncaster early in the year, when it was really soft and our horses weren’t in the form they are in now.

“There wouldn’t be that much for him left if we didn’t run, especially with the money on offer.”

We'll roll the dice and give it a shot Declan Carroll, trainer

He added: “It’s a step into the unknown with the ground, but he’s in good order and he ran well at York last time, Limato was entitled to win and he did.

“We’ll roll the dice and give it a shot.”

Richard Fahey was successful in 2015 with the three-year-old Don’t Touch and has four chances.

“If one of them is well handicapped on their home work it’s Brian The Snail,” he told

We'll roll the dice and give it a shot
We'll roll the dice and give it a shot

Fahey went on: “I’m not saying he’ll win as his form on the track is disappointing, but on the Musley Bank gallops he’s one of the best sprinters we’ve got. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a decent race.

“George Bowen is rated 107 now which is as high as he’s ever been in his life. He has won on soft ground, but has to be a 115 or 116 horse to win this and I haven’t seen any signs of that at home.

“Growl has been running out of his skin and I’ve always felt slower ground is what he wants.

“I thought Kimberella’s last run was very nearly his best of the season. He’s off 105 here and isn’t getting any younger but never discount this fellow.”

Tim Easterby is another with multiple chances in a race he has surprisingly never won.

“Flying Pursuit (drawn three) likes to roll along up in front and when he runs at York he always tends to run better when he’s on the left-hand side of the track, ” Easterby told Racing UK.

“When I walked the track I felt they maybe had a slight edge on the far side,

“Golden Apollo (four) likes a bit of juice in the ground and I’d rather be over there. You’re always a victim of where the pace is in the race.

“I’d like to win it. It’s a great race worth good money at a fantastic track.

“We do try to set a few up for it.”

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