It looks a cracking eight-race card – commencing at 13:20 and running until 17:17 – on Thursday to kickstart the three-day Ayr Gold Cup Festival.

Many of the north’s leading jocks and trainers are present and there are very decent fields, numbers-wise. Here’s a couple that have taken our eye.

Ayr Tips

  • 13:20 – Volterra @ 11/8
  • 15:35 – Golden Melody @ 3/1

13:20 – Volterra @ 11/8

Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan has few peers when it comes to handling 2-yr-olds. He’s so often seen to the fore, and to great advantage, at York and similarly prominent venues. He sends his Farhh colt Volterra up to Ayr for this novice stakes contest after having one previous outing during the Ebor Festival, in the Convivial.

He was a close-up 4th on the Knavesmire, running on nicely. This is over the same trip, 7f, and there’s every chance that Volterra will step up for that previous experience. He has, for me, two serious rivals in Colarada Dancer and Individualism, for Richard Fahey and Charlie Johnston respectively.

They are very nice colts, but haven’t in my book achieved what Ryan’s charge managed at York in one of the season’s warmest maidens.

A lovely race to inform us greatly about plenty of northern-based juveniles, and I’m hopeful Volterra can put his hand up and excite his connections as to what’s in front of him going forward.

15:35 – Golden Melody @ 3/1

From a promising youngster to a battle-hardened, vastly-experienced 5-yr-old campaigner. A great credit to trainer Tim Easterby, and in grand form without quite managing to get her head in front where it counts for a while now.

She goes with cut in the ground, which is what she should encounter on Thursday, and operates at around 1m/1m 2f. This is a ten-furlong test, but she’s been finishing her recent races at 1m well and might appreciate trying this extended trip again, especially on essentially a flat track.

This a rattling-good Class 4 handicap for fillies/mares, and I’m hoping one of the senior ladies on view can gain a richly-deserved success.


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