By The Tote Team www.tote.co.uk
We’re on the countdown to the QTS Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday, as the Scottish venue gets things going for their week in the sun.
Thursday’s card looks ripe for a Placepot, so we’ve gone through the six legs to pick out those pointers and suggest our very own perm for the multi-leg bet.
It’s Good to Soft at Ayr this week, and with warm, dry weather and minimal wins, it’s unlikely to change too much as the days go by.
It’s been a fantastic season for Kevin Stott so far, with his breakthrough Group 1 success at Royal Ascot. Furthermore, the rider has also enjoyed his visits north of the border this summer, with a 35% strike-rate at Ayr since the start of July. He’s also hit the frame in 19 of his 35 (54%) rides at the venue in that period - fantastic for Placepot players.
He takes rides in the final five legs of the Placepot today, but the three that stand out are AYR POET (Leg 2 - 2:30), DUBAI ICON (Leg 3 - 3:00) and THE GREAT HEIR (Leg 5 - 4:00).
A step up in trip and an introduction to handicap events seemed to work wonders for WONDROUS WORDS (Leg 4 - 3:30) last time out. Having been consistent at a mile in novice events, Roger Varian’s filly eased clear to score over today’s 1m2f trip at Redcar last month.
A 9lb rise for that success is offset somewhat by the 5lb claim of Ray Dawson, and with it looking certain that there is more to come, she could yet still be some way ahead of the handicapper.
He’s probably not a win candidate, but there’s no getting away from RETIREMENT BECKONS’ (Leg 2 - 2:30) record at this track. The course and distance winner has finished in the frame on four of his last six visits, the last three of those places coming off higher marks than today’s rating of 50. With the assistance of Graeme Lee he can finish in the three again.
Based on his runs this year, a leap of faith is needed to side with Hughie Morrison’s WITH RESPECT in Leg 6 (4:30), but his debut performance sticks in the mind. He clocked a cracking time when landing a competitive Newbury novice event last October, seeing off the useful Cold Front. Things haven’t clicked in two runs this term, but he’s still unexposed and any return of his debut performance could see him feature.
The opening leg of the day (2:00) looks to have the potential to knock out a good chunk of the pool. Two or three of the once-raced types have shown enough promise to feature, but equally, we could see any of the newcomers threaten first time out.
With that in mind, we’re hedging our bets. NORTHERN EXPRESS was well-backed at big odds when overcoming inexperience to win on debut at Beverley. He has to carry a penalty here, but is open to any amount of improvement, so can feature in the finish.
Of the newcomers, Karl Burke’s SIMONS KING who is a half-brother to two useful debut winners, and with the yard’s two-year-olds going batting above their average this season, a chance is taken on the Kingman colt.
Leg 1: 1,9
Leg 2: 3, 9
Leg 3: 2, 5
Leg 4: 2
Leg 5: 1, 4
Leg 6: 4, 13
2 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 2 = 32 lines
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