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Friday, 18 September 2015

15:45, Ayr Gold Cup, Saturday 19

The Ayr Gold Cup, run over 6 furlongs, has produced just one winning favourite since 1980 and all bar four of the winners have started at double-figure odds, so it’s the perfect race for us.

Considering he was beaten a head in the Flying Childers Stakes, over 5 furlongs, at Doncaster last September on his penultimate start as a juvenile, Astrophysics (50/1) is in danger of becoming a forgotten horse, a fact that’s reflected by his ludicrously generous odds. Admittedly, he was turned over, at odds-on, in match on his final juvenile start and made no show in a 0-105 handicap at York on his seasonal reappearance in May, but it’s surely too soon to be writing him off completely. Rain-softened ground is something of an unknown, but it’s conceivable that he’s simply taken time to adapt to his new surroundings, having only joined Ann Duffield from David Elsworth in April and he’s worth a chance to confirm his juvenile promise.

Boom The Groom (33/1) is just 1lb higher in the weights than when winning a 0-105 contest, over 5 furlongs, at Lingfield in February and although three of his four career wins have come on synthetic surfaces, his turf form is not quite as dire as his odds suggest. He ran well off his current mark when third of eight, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Humidor over 5 furlongs at Epsom last time and, although he steps up to 6 furlongs on a more galloping track, he could go well, particularly if there’s any more rain in Ayrshire between now and Saturday afternoon.

Finally, Poyle Vinnie (33/1) did us a favour when winning the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton, on soft going, in July and, although beaten three times off revised marks since, he ran a little better at York last time and may appreciate the return to handicap company on a galloping track. He remains 8lb higher in the weights than at Hamilton, but such was his level of superiority on that occasion that he doesn’t appear impossibly handicapped if able to recapture the same level of form. He’s not ideally drawn in stall 4 to execute the front-running tactics that worked so well at Hamilton, but Minalisa finished second from stall 2 last year after racing prominently on the stands’ side, so he’s not without a chance.

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Selections: 3.45 Ayr Astrophysics (50/1), Boom The Groom (33/1), Poyle Vinnie (33/1)

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