Our racing expert is firing a couple of arrows at the Ayr Silver Cup.
Richard Fahey sent out the first two home 12 months ago and the runner-up on that occasion, George Bowen, could do best of his trio of representatives this time around now racing off a 2lb lower mark. That said, he doesn’t arrive in the same sort of form as last year when he was chasing a hat-trick and could only manage eighth at the Curragh six days ago, a race he won comfortably in 2015.
David O’Meara’s Intisaab ran second in that Curragh race and that was continuing a splendid run of form that has seen him finish first or second in seven consecutive outings since May. He’s been unlucky not to have won more than twice as the draw did him at York in July and he didn’t get the best of runs in either the Great St Wilfrid on his penultimate start and last time. He is a worthy favourite at around the 8/1 mark, despite not faring best with the draw in stall 13 of 25. That’s not necessarily going to stop him, but the indication from Friday’s Bronze Cup is that low numbers are best – seven of the first eight home were boxed in stalls nine or lower.
John Quinn’s Reputation is better drawn in stall three and arrives here at the top of his game, having won a Leicester 6f handicap on his penultimate start before just failing to follow up at Newmarket last time off the same mark as today’s. The worry with him, though, is that all three of his wins have come on good to firm and conditions will be far from that this afternoon.
Michael Dods’ GET KNOTTED is another well drawn fancied runner who has been running well on recent starts. A winner over 7f at York in July, he has posted a couple of solid thirds since, including when failing to hold off a couple of well-treated rivals in a 61/2f handicap at Doncaster last time. That display suggests a strongly run 6f will be ideal for him and he does act on ground with cut in it. Whether the straight 6f track is ideal is another matter as Dods did say in a recent Stable Tour that he was best on a turning track.
At 16/1 with bet365, who are paying out on five places, it could be worth giving him the benefit of the doubt, but his stablemate MY NAME IS RIO is arguably even better value with a whopping 66/1 up for grabs with the same firm. The six-year-old is a winner over 5f here but stays this extra furlong well and, indeed, finished third in the 2014 Bronze . All five of his wins have come on good or softer, so conditions are ideal, and he was unlucky not to make it six on his penultimate start at Musselburgh as he was stopped in his run and still beaten less than a length into third. He will come out of stall six.
Dods nominated this race as his big target in the aforementioned Stable Tour and, having sent out Fendale to fill the runner-up spot in yesterday’s Bronze Cup, he must have high hopes that one of his pair can go one better – I suggest you split stakes and back them both.