By Dave Nevison
It is a desperately sad day for me as the Ayr Gold Cup, the cornerstone of my favourite meeting of the year, has been lost due to waterlogging.
The arguments and investigations will no doubt go on for a while as to whether the situation was avoidable, but as someone who was there scratching my backside with nothing to do I can only say that everyone to a man was gutted.
I have been diverted to the Racing UK studio for Catterick and Newmarket for Saturday and it is in the north that I am hoping to get a winner or two.
Mr Sundowner is 9lb out the handicap and on paper at Saturday’s weights has little chance of beating Wotabreeze, who beat him over course and distance last time.
However I am not quite sure that tells the whole tale. I am pretty sure Mr Sundowner would have won if he hadn’t got boxed in for the last half mile. The handicap marks might have been very different on Saturday had Wilf Storey’s gelding got a better run. He is four times the price of Wotabreeze and has Rhian Ingram, who is now well worth her 5lb claim, on board.
In a dead eight runners I think it is worth a bet each way. A non runner might make it a watching race, or a throwaway win bet, so let us hope all run.
Brandon Castle represents the excellent Archie Watson (this year’s Iain Jardine for my money) and will be a short price to get back on the winning trail in the 4.10 at Catterick after a very creditable second last time.
He was six lengths clear of the third behind the well-handicapped and well ridden Chebsey Beau. I cannot see him being reeled in today.
Three Saints Bay is by Kodiac, but out of a mare by the Arc and King George winner Montjeu so it is possibly not surprising that the coin came down to try stamina on his first two races. For me he has shown twice that seven furlongs is too far and David O’Meara has spotted a good opportunity for him over six furlongs this afternoon.
Unless the Hugo Palmer debutante Altered Method is a good one he should win the opener.
Dave Nevison’s Saturday tips: (Prices correct at 7.30pm)
4.45 Catterick: Mr Sundowner each-way at a generally available 14-1