2019 Ayr Gold Cup Festival day three tips – Race-by-race selections for the third day of Ayr’s autumn feature meeting

It is day three of the Ayr Gold Cup Festival meeting on Saturday.

It is day three of the Ayr Gold Cup Festival meeting on Saturday.

Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look at the day three racecard for the Ayr Gold Cup Festival meeting where an eight-race card goes to post.

The third of three days’ classy racing action goes to post at Ayr on Saturday for the finale to the Ayr Gold Cup Festival meeting, and the competitive eponymously-titled race takes centre stage on an eight-race card.

Also featuring the consolation Ayr Silver Cup, as well as Group Three action with the Firth Of Clyde Stakes, it is sure to be another action-packed afternoon at the Scottish venue and the pick of Saturday’s action will be shown live on ITV Racing.

1:25 – Millar Callaghan Engineering 20th Anniversary EBF Nursery Handicap Cl2 (2yo) 1m
2:00 – William Hill Foundation:Uniting Against Dementia Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m
2:40 – William Hill Ayr Silver Cup Handicap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f
3:15 – William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes (Group 3) (for The Ayrshire Agricultural Challenge Cup) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 6f
3:50 – William Hill Ayr Gold Cup (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 6f
4:25 – William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Handicap (for The Kilkerran Cup) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m2f
4:55 – Microtech Group Handicap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-95) 7f
5:30 – Jordan Electrics Ltd Handicap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-90) 1m5f RTV

Leading bookmaker William Hill sponsors five of the eight races on Saturday’s closing card to the Ayr Gold Cup Festival, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for a cracking finale fixture north of the border.

1:25 – Millar Callaghan Engineering 20th Anniversary EBF Nursery Handicap Cl2 (2yo) 1m

Plenty of potential on show and ATHEEB (3/1, Bet365) is taken to follow up his breakthrough success at Haydock last month where Sir Michael Stoute’s charge ran out a neck winner over End Zone, keeping on well for the win.

The Muhaarar colt has shown race by race progress thus far, and there ought to be more to come from him if continuing along his progressive path and this step up in distance looks a good move given the way he finished off his race last time out.

A mark of 82 on his handicap debut may underestimate his scope for improvement to come, and every chance than he can find another jolt of improvement to strike again in what could well prove to be a very decent race in time with several unexposed sorts in opposition.

Sir Michael Stoute

Sir Michael Stoute can get amongst the winners at Ayr on Saturday

2:00 – William Hill Foundation:Uniting Against Dementia Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m

CLUB WEXFORD (10/1, Bet365) ran a shocker latest behind What’s The Story at York last month, but Roger Fell’s charge had been in good heart previously and the Lawman gelding is taken to get back on track.

A three-time winner already this campaign, he registered two of those successes over this course and distance, and he lost little caste in defeat in starts at Chester and Haydock where the ground was probably too soft for him on each occasion.

He beat only one rival home at York in the Clipper Logistics Handicap, possibly feeling the race coming too soon after his earlier Haydock fourth in heavy conditions; but having been given a bit of a breather since he ought to appreciate these drying conditions and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him posting a better effort now.

He boasts a very good four wins from five starts at this track, and the handicapper has eased him 1lb in the weights following that latest York run. He should be fresh now following a month off, and he can bounce back here.

2:40 – William Hill Ayr Silver Cup Handicap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f

SHOW STEALER (10/1, Paddy Power) has been in decent form this term, winning twice with back-to-back successes at Windsor in July/August and making the frame in two of her three subsequent outings.

Rae Guest’s Showcasing mare finished third at Goodwood in August behind Green Power, and she then ran better than the bare result behind Belated Breath at Salsibury on her next start.

But her latest close third behind Oxted in the recent Portland Handicap last Saturday was a very good effort, and a repeat of that run here could well see her firmly in the mix.

Held up early, she came with a strong late run and was only beaten three-parts of a length at the line. She is due to go up 1lb in future races so she has the scope to post a big effort from the same mark as Doncaster.

Drawn high in this contest, she should get a decent pace to aim at with front-running Major Valentine drawn next to her and every chance she can post another big run if this doesn’t come too soon following her Doncaster outing last weekend.

Richard Kingscote

Richard Kingscote can steer Show Stealer to Ayr Silver Cup success

3:15 – William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes (Group 3) (for The Ayrshire Agricultural Challenge Cup) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 6f

LAMBETH WALK (5/1, Ladbrokes) has been highly tried this term following back-to-back wins earlier in the campaign on her first two outings, and Archie Watson’s charge can get back to winning ways here.

Possibly unsuited by softer ground at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes where she finished down the field, Archie Watson’s charge ran well behind the Coventry winner Raffle Prize in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket in July, eventually finishing fourth.

The Charm Spirit filly was then denied only by Platinum Star latest at Ripon when taking in a Listed race at the Yorkshire track, and that was a strong race for the grade.

She wasn’t disgraced with the contest possibly not being run to suit, and she’ll get more of a pace this time around to aim at. With the potential still for further improvement she can remain competitive in this contest, and with title-chasing Oisin Murphy in the saddle again for this assignment it wouldn’t come as a shock to see the pair in the thick of things at the business end.

3:50 – William Hill Ayr Gold Cup (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 6f

LAUGH A MINUTE (18/1, William Hill) may have got bogged down in the soft ground at Hamilton when last seen out in July in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup; but Roger Varian’s charge could bounce back faced with a quicker surface.

The Mayson gelding has won only twice in his 14-run career, scoring both victories at Doncaster; but he has shown himself capable of useful form, and he went close in a French Group Three last August behind Tantheem at Deauville prior to finishing a creditable fourth to Donjuan Triumphant in the Wentworth stakes.

Doncaster clearly brings out the best of him, so there is hope he can prove as efficient on this track which isn’t far from Town Moor in style, and he had posted good efforts in defeat behind the likes of Shabaaby at Haydock and Invincible Army in the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle previous to his disappointing Hamilton run.

It is too soon to write him off on the back of that run, and this track ought to suit more than the undulations of the Lanarkshire venue; and with better ground here and first-time blinkers now applied he can do better this time around.

Despite being drawn low, there is a lot of pace around him and he arrives here fresh following a couple of months off; he can post a big effort here with Rossa Ryan in the saddle who is enjoying a big season.

Laugh A Minute

Laugh A Minute can win the Ayr Gold Cup

4:25 – William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Handicap (for The Kilkerran Cup) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m2f

Course winner ANOTHER TOUCH (4/1, Ladbrokes) hasn’t tasted success since scoring in Listed company at Pontefract back in July 2017, but Richard Fahey’s charge could be worth chancing to get back on the scoresheet having shaped well on his return from eleven months off the track at York in July.

The Arcano gelding was beaten around four lengths behind Pivoine in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup, possibly just needing the run, and the form has been boosted by the runner-up and third both winning since, while the latter has also placed in Listed company here on Thursday in the Doonside Cup.

Although he hasn’t been seen since that York return, he finds himself competing here in an easier contest and from a very workable handicap rating; and assuming that he can build on that return following another few weeks off the course then it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see him going close here.

4:55 – Microtech Group Handicap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-95) 7f

GIGA WHITE (8/1, Bet365) was a shade disappointing at Galway when last seen out, but Ger Lyons’ charge had been running well previously and had made the frame in three of his four previous outings since returning from nine months off the track.

The Dark Angel gelding had rounded off last campaign with a win at Gowran Park, and two of his three efforts in the frame this term have come over this trip.

The extended one mile at Galway latest might just have stretched him, although he wasn’t helped by being hampered mid-race, and he could bounce back here with a better effort returning to seven furlongs and having been eased 2lbs in the weights.

He should arrive here a fresh horse following a 50 day absence, while he hasn’t taken in much racing this term so every chance he can deliver a big run for his top Irish yard.

Ger Lyons

Ger Lyons could saddle a winner at Ayr on Saturday

5:30 – Jordan Electrics Ltd Handicap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-90) 1m5f RTV

Lightly-raced BEYOND THE CLOUDS (11/2, William Hill) could be worth chancing to quickly bounce back to winning ways having perhaps found himself being bogged down in the heavy ground at Hamilton latest.

Kevin Ryan’s Peintre Celebre gelding had struck the time before on better ground at Ripon, beating Navajo Pass by just over one length, and he travelled well for a long way latest at the Lanarkshire track where he eventually crossed the line in eighth place.

A multiple winner in bumpers and over hurdles, this step up in trip could unlock further improvement as he returns to a sounder surface for this latest outing, and still unexposed on the level he is given another chance to build on the earlier promise he had shown when successful at Ripon.

This mark could still be workable, and he can bounce back to winning form here.

2019 AYR GOLD CUP FESTIVAL TIPS – DAY THREE SELECTIONS

1:25 – ATHEEB (3/1, Bet365)
2:00 – CLUB WEXFORD (10/1, Bet365)
2:40 – SHOW STEALER (10/1, Paddy Power)
3:15 – LAMBETH WALK (5/1, Ladbrokes)
3:50 – LAUGH A MINUTE (18/1, William Hill)
4:25 – ANOTHER TOUCH (4/1, Ladbrokes)
4:55 – GIGA WHITE (8/1, Bet365)
5:30 – BEYOND THE CLOUDS (11/2, William Hill)