Ayr Gold Cup Tips: Bottle can prove to be just the tonic

The Ayr Gold Cup always proves to be a pulsating affair.
The Ayr Gold Cup always proves to be a pulsating affair.

After successfully hitting the frame with an each-way selection in last week's St Leger, Nick Seddon turns his attentions to Saturday's Ayr Gold Cup, and once again suggests an each-way bet at a double-figure price...

Although its 215-year history is a long and prestigious one, the Ayr Gold Cup has perhaps never enjoyed quite as colourful a period as it has over the last 24 months, considering that the 2017 renewal had to be switched to Haydock Park because of waterlogging, while last year’s race saw the first ever dead heat, when Baron Bolt and Son Of Rest shared the spoils in a pulsating affair. 

As is usually the case for such a valuable handicap, a large number of horses remain in the race at the time of writing, with as many as 166 still left in the field at the five-day declarations stage.

It means that finding a bet even at this point in the week can prove tricky, particularly when there’s a consolation race in the form of the Ayr Silver Cup, and a consolation for the consolation - Friday’s Ayr Bronze Cup. 

As you would expect, the betting market is a lively one, and is headed by the Ger Lyons-trained Buffer Zone, who is a 7/1 favourite at the time of writing. Punters have a strong record in the race of late, too, and while only two favourites have obliged this decade (one of those being Son Of Rest, who shared the spoils last year), no winner has returned home at odds higher than 20/1 during that time-frame.  

Buffer Zone has progressed well in four starts since joining the Ger Lyons team this summer, winning twice, including when taking a big-field handicap over this trip at the Curragh last week. A 5 lb penalty looks fair for that, and he’s one to take seriously now quickly turned out here. 

Other market principals who enter calculations are Arecibo, Gulliver and Summerghand. Like Buffer Zone, Gulliver would also be facing a quick turnaround, having chased home that rival when third at the Curragh last week. He would arrive here 3 lb higher than his last winning mark, though, and it would be no surprise should he make a bold bid now on 4 lb better terms with the favourite. 

Summerghand has yet to win this term, but he’s been in fine form regardless, producing an excellent effort to finish second in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last month. A 2 lb rise means that he arrives here off a career-high mark, but he can’t be discounted in his current mood. Meanwhile, the consistent Arecibo hit the frame once again at Doncaster last time, and represents a yard that won this race as recently as 2014. 

Kevin Ryan has won the Ayr Gold Cup three times this decade, and the best of his chances look to be Major Jumbo and Hey Jonesy. The first-named found the Group 1 Sprint Cup too hot a contest at Haydock a fortnight ago, but he produced a good effort to win a listed race at Chester prior to that, and is interesting on his first start in handicap company this term, for all that he has to shoulder a big weight. Meanwhile, it’s been over two years since Hey Jonesy last got his head in front, and he has something to prove off his current mark at present. 

Baron Bolt was a 28/1 outsider when sharing the spoils in this race last year, and returns looking to defend his crown on favourable terms, arriving on a 2 lb lower mark than 12 months ago. This is in most part down to the fact that he has been below his best this term, however, and with the going likely to me much quicker than the heavy ground he thrived in last year, he has something to prove. Another former winner of the race who is due to return is Donjuan Triumphant, who won at Haydock Park in 2017. He’s been racing at higher levels so far this term, and although the drop in class could reinvigorate him, his mark looks steep for what will be his first start in this sphere since March 2018. The same can be said for Mr Lupton, who is due to shoulder top weight, and was below form when on his most recent start in a Group 2 at York last month. 

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One who makes plenty of appeal as an each-way proposition is Justanotherbottle, who represents the Declan Carroll team. He’s all about speed, something he showed when making all over the minimum trip at Sandown last month, and wasn’t suited by the heavy conditions when trailing home in third-last behind Baron Bolt and Son of Rest in this race last year. The dryer ground this time around will suit him well, and he heads here off the same mark as when finishing a fine second in the 2018 Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood races. Admittedly, he’s prone to the odd poor outing, and disappointed last time out, but this big-field scanrio should suit, and he could offer plenty of value each-way at around the 20/1 mark at the time of writing. 

The list of candidates is bordering on endless, but others to consider include Danzeno, Urban Beat, Lahore, Alkaraama and Open Wide. Danzeno is a regular in this sphere, and has been holding his form well at the moment, finishing a game second in a listed race at York last time. He will likely give his running once again, as will the Irish raider Urban Beat, another who hit the frame in a listed contest on his most recent start. Lahore’s most recent effort to finish second at Thirsk last time was a strong one, and he would be another to consider for all that he’d require plenty of luck to get in at present (currently number 44 in the weights), while Open Wide has been running consistently well in big-field handicaps this season, and should go well once again provided his busy period doesn’t catch up with him. Far more unexposed is the three-year-old Alkaraama, who like Lahore would need plenty of luck to get in (number 49 in the weights), but he’s been progressing at a rate of knots so far this term, and would be another to consider in what’s looking a traditionally wide-open renewal of the race.


Saturday 21st September 2019 - Ayr 15:50 - Justanotherbottle each-way @ 20/1

Ayr Gold Cup
Justanotherbottle silk

Justanotherbottle (EW)

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