Dave Nevison is all set for the final day of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival, one of our pundit’s favourite meetings of the year – and he’s very keen on one in the £150,000 highlight. Enjoy all the action live on Racing TV!
Things have been tough as ever up here this week, but I really fancy my chances of landing the Silver/Gold Cup double up at Ayr - looking for a repeat winner in the Silver and looking at a good thing in the Gold. Simples!
1.55 Ayr: Juan Elcano
Addeyb was the short-priced favourite here, but the lack of rain caused his defection and he makes way for another who will likely go off clear market leader but whose claims are undeniable.
Juan Elcano was not up to Group One standard last time, but he won at Royal Ascot at Listed level and went on to run a cracker in a Group Two at York on his penultimate start. That form puts him head and shoulders above most of these rivals and he looks the day’s ‘banker’ for multiple bets.
2.30 Ayr: Magical Spirit
Last year’s impressive winner has plenty of positives in his favour and his forecast price is more than fair in my view.
Magical Spirit comes good in September every season and, judged by his latest effort, is poised to hit form again. He would have got up against Tis Marvellous at Ascot last time and that form has been boosted by the winner since.
Although he won last year’s race on good to soft ground, Magical Spirit has scored on faster going previously so I have no concerns there and Kevin Stott gets on particularly well with him.
Given he won this race by three and a half lengths and in the style that did last year, it is very surprising he runs off just 4lb higher and now he is back in form I believe he is seriously well in.
3.40 Ayr: Great Ambassador
Horses like Brando, Don’t Touch and latterly Nahaarr have all made the Ayr Gold Cup the final stepping stone before jumping into Group races so I have no problem being with Great Ambassador here.
Circumstances could not have been worse for him in the Stewards’ Cup given the heavy ground and being drawn on the wrong side, but he still managed to get to within a length of Commanche Falls. Even though he reopposes on worse terms, I feel that his two comfortable wins subsequently suggest he has continued to improve and he can land this big handicap before possibly setting off around the world chasing really big prize money.
Stall 1 could be a real advantage given it looks like they are set to run in arrowhead formation with the main pace being down the middle. He should enjoy a clear run through.
4.15 Ayr: Dance Fever
He is absolutely certain to get a good pace here and can show himself to still be improving - and one who may well end up better than a handicapper.
Dance Fever ran well at Goodwood behind a good horse last time but the slow pace meant that was definitely not run to suit. He won very well at Leicester two months ago and was beaten less than a length in two good handicaps after that.
While a mark of a 100 doesn’t suggest he is thrown in, this trip and ground look teed up to suit him perfectly.
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