A good start to the day by buying the First Half French Score at 11+. Even better, because it is on a Sporting Index promo offer, so it is their money! The NZ game is deeply engaging, more so as I have rashly backed the SA Hotshots (Willie Le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi) market at 22. Like an abandoned moon lander in space, the market and my earlier profit are drifting towards the constellation Destitution! Meanwhile, at Ayr and Newbury….
1:45 Newbury Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes G3 3yo+ 5f
DAKOTA GOLD has won some decent big-field handicaps and stepped up comfortably to Listed company at York LTO. He has good early pace and a strong relentless finish. EQUILATERAL will provide the competition. If ORNATE is allowed an early lead, he might cause problems – but I think he lost interest in the game about three races ago.
2:00 Ayr William Hill Foundation: Uniting Against Dementia Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m
WAARIF won this last year. off the same mark as today. David O’Meara did suggest he thought he was in for something of a revival in fortunes when he was 4th at Donny LTO. David has put Robbie Downey on board who rode him in his last victory. ALFRED RICHARDSON has been quietly backed all morning and is now 12s from 16s. There is the whiff of plot about this one and he meets the general trends profile for this.
2:20 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes G3 3yo+ 1m3f
PONDUS didn’t race at 2 and won a couple of early-season novice races at 3, with quite a lot of claque about the regard in which he was held. He then appeared in King Edward VII (G2) at Royal Ascot, as the 4/1 2nd F against Japan! He got stuffed and has had a couple of seconds since. He gets WFA allowance making him lb adrift of the favourite. WALDSTERN has decent juvenile form and in his first two starts of the season wasn’t disgraced over longer distances. He dropped back to 10f at Newmarket which he won well, and the extra furlong is not an issue. He can be tricky but looks value at 11/2.
2:40 Ayr William Hill Ayr Silver Cup Handicap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f
I have three from the trends and they are JAWWAAL, GOLDEN APOLLO, and ADMIRALTY. To be brutally honest, none of them really grab me, but I think I’ll go with JAWWAAL, ADMIRALTY and throw in CITRON MAJOR who has beaten several of these historically.
2:55 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes G2 2yo 6f
MR KIKI was fourth in his debut race at Ascot, since when all bar one of the runners have scored. His Yarmouth novice win LTO could be anything, but he is very definitely the wrong price for this race. PIERRE LAPIN was priced up at around 10/1 for The Coventry after his debut victory at Haydock, where he beat a couple of decent types. No run since then, suggests he is way too short. MALOTRU was 4th in the Gimcrack on ground that was too fast and possibly over too short a distance. We’ll discover that element today but grab the 5/1 still available in a place or two because I think he’ll go off 4s.
3:15 Ayr William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes G3 (Fillies) 2yo 6f
AL RASMAH won cosily on debut, albeit running green. She had all the looks of being a horse with ability. his was a tough assignment for a newcomer and she will surely improve for the experience. ENDLESS JOY improved again LTO and could well do so again today. Whether she will be allowed to dominate in the same way remains to be seen. I suspect he stable partner LAMBETH WALK needs 5f rather than this 6f. Mark Johnston’s ROSE OF KILDARE dead-heated at Newmarket with GRACEFUL MAGIC (who I originally fancied for this) LTO. ROSE is now 5lb better off and that puts her in the frame.
3:30 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m2f
RISE HALL was an 8l 4th behind FOREST OF DEAN at York LTO – but I rather felt that was more a question of a slow start and then a panic from the jockey than an ability issue. at 8/1 I think it will be a lot closer. I also fancy Eve Johnson-Houghton’s HYANNA who was given a perfect hands and heels ride LTO by the same claimer as today, Georgia Dobie. The wrong price.
3:50 Ayr William Hill Ayr Gold Cup (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 6f
Three for the pot, GOOD EFFORT, BUFFER ZONE and MAJOR JUMBO and all high on my trends. BUFFER ZONE won at the Curragh LTO, in a manner suggested nothing but cool. There was nothing eye-catching so much as effortless simplicity. Ger said afterwards that he was a Group horse in a handicap and while the competitors might have been a little ordinary, he was obviously superior, with a really interesting set of gears. GOOD EFFORT benefits from the second-best jockey at Ayr is a good price for an unexposed 6f horse (3rd trip). The other is a grey…