Mulrennan gets mount to Rally in Ayr Silver Cup
Saturday 22 September 2012
1 Mass Rally (P Mulrennan) 16-1
2 Highland Colori (S Sanders) 6-1 Fav
3 An Saighdiur (M Cleere) 8-1
4 Spinatrix (T Eaves) 14-1
By Geoffrey Riddle
Mass Rally edged out favourite Highland Colori to win the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup under a superb ride from jockey Paul Mulrennan.
It was the first victory on turf for the Michael Dods-trained runner, having previously finished as the runner-up on seven occasions in his 25-race career.
Highland Colori was drawn in the middle of the pack in stall 13, while Mass Rally emerged from stall 20 but the two met in the final furlong before Mulrennan pushed his mount out to the line to win by a short head. An Saigdiur was third, while Spinatrix was fourth.
“It’s a long time coming but it’s absolutely magnificent,” jubilant owner Martin Pearson told Racing UK. “We’ve been through every emotion with this horse but we’ve been planning this for years. I am so pleased for Michael and so pleased for Paul.”
Mulrennan had partnered Mass Rally to the runner-up spot three times this season, no more agonisingly than when the pair were denied by a head at Ascot in July.
That handicap had featured Jack Dexter down the field, but even once that horse had won the Ayr Bronze Cup earlier in the day the hint was still unheeded by punters.
Mass Rally was sent off at 16-1, while Highland Colori was heavily backed into 6-1 favouritsim.
Mass Rally has never been the most genuine of horses, and Mulrennan has always looked reluctant to go for the whip on the five-year-old but he was forced to reach for his crop in order to deny former champion jockey Seb Sanders at the line.
“Paul has had a bit of criticism for the way he rides the horse, but the horse has to be ridden like that and in sprints you need a bit of luck for it to come off. It’s great for Paul and we stuck by him after Ascot,” Dods, who also saddled Spinatrix to fourth place, said. “I’m delighted for him.”
"I'm so pleased for the horse. You just can't bustle him along, you have to sit and wait, but he has plenty of ability.
"As I said, he really deserved that - he's been second so many times and his owner has had to wait, but I knew there was a big one in him.
"We would have been really gutted if he had been beaten again. We couldn't be more delighted, but we won't be staying for a party in Ayr tonight as we're going back home for a christening tomorrow - we will certainly have a party at some time."