This week’s three-day Ayr meeting climaxes on Saturday with the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and with twenty-five runners declared it’s going to be another tricky puzzle for punters to solve.
Run over six furlongs and with a monster field to sift through it’s no surprise that in recent years it’s been a minefield for punters. This is backed-up with only two winning favourites since 1980 – but hopefully our key big race trends can help.
There are also plenty of Ayr Gold Cup tips to take into the contest. Including ten of the last sixteen winners being aged four or five years-old, while ALL of the last sixteen successful horses had raced within the last six weeks.
To help pin-point the winner of the 2018 Ayr Gold Cup we are on-hand with some useful key trends and statistics – use these to find the best profiles of past winners. We hope they help you find the winner, but if you fancy a horse we’ve not featured below then it might also help to apply our trends to that runner.
Trends – Key Runners
Son Of A Rest ✅❌✅✅✅✅
Flying Pursuit ✅✅✅✅✅❌
Son Of A Rest has been all the rage in the ante-post market in midweek, and it’s easy to see why. Last Sunday, this four-year-old was a half-length second in the Group One Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh – making the 111-rated Havana Grey pull out all the stops. Therefore, off a rating of 101, and down in class, this is why punters have latched onto this Irish raider. If running even close to that form he could easily turn this competitive handicap into a procession. He ticks five of our six main trends too so certainly has a lot going for him, but those against him will notice he does fall down on not having won at least three times – he’s tasted victory only twice. Plus, as mentioned in the intro, this has been a graveyard race for favourites in recent years with only two markets leaders going in since 1980! Drawn 17
The Richard Fahey-trained Growl was the 2016 runner-up in this race and is sure to be popular again. He ran off a mark of 101 that day so off 99 this time he’s certainly got a better chance at the weights. The yard also has a fair record in the race – winning it in 2006 and 2015 – while his jockey, Paul Hanagan, will be looking for his second success in the contest. He’s run some solid races in defeat this season, but it is worth pointing out he comes here having not won in his last sixteen races. However, due to this losing run his handicap mark has slipped from a high of 114 to 99 and based on that is starting to look dangerous. Draw thirteen gives him options in the middle of the pack, while he gets a thumbs-up on five of our trends with only his age (six) the only possible negative. Drawn 13
Trainer Tim Easterby is yet to win the Ayr Gold Cup but he’s got a fair chance of putting that right this year with Flying Pursuit. This five year-old acts well in soft ground so should get his favoured conditions and of those at the head of the market is another that ticks five of our six main trends, with only his draw (three) a possible negative. His form on ground described at ‘soft’ or ‘heavy’ reads 1-1-5-1-8-1 and is also a proven course and distance winner at the track. Jockey Rachel Richardson will be providing a bit of ‘girl power’ from the saddle and knows the horse well having ridden him in twelve of this last fifteen races. Drawn 3
The five year-old Gunmetal became another popular choice for this race after running away with the competitive Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon last time out. The handicapper has raised him seven pounds for that success but having beaten a twenty-strong field easily that day suggests there’s more to come. He gets a thumbs-up on five of our six key trends too, with only having won last time out as the only potential negative – 75% of the last sixteen winners didn’t win their most recent race. Finally, the David Barron yard are no strangers to landing this prize after taking it in 1996 with Costal Bluff. Drawn 15
The Roger Fell team are having a cracking season but they will be hoping to cap it off by landing this with Muntadab. This six year-old has attracted interest in the betting all week and it’s not hard to see why. He falls down on just one of our six trends – his age – but the added plus on his side is that he stays further than this six-furlong trip and also acts on soft ground. With conditions set to be testing his proven stamina will be a big asset, while jockey Tony Hamilton knows how to get the job done in this race after winning the prize in 2015. Drawn 12
Every Ayr race covered live on ITV can be found on our ITV Racing Tips page, with runner by runner previews for each contest.