There is a hectic day of racing across Britain and Ireland on Saturday, Sept 23rd, with eight meetings and a whopping 60 races across more than seven hours.

The Ayr Gold Cup is the main event of the day, while Newbury and the Curragh boast Group-race action and there are further Flat cards at Catterick, York, Newmarket and Wolverhampton (AW) alongside jumps fare from Listowel.

We have three selections to consider across the day, including outsider Paws For Thought in the big race at Ayr.


Ayr 15.35 – Paws For Thought each-way @ 20/1 

Curragh 15.40 – Cherry Blossom @ 7/4 

York 16.55 – Solution @ 6/4 

Ayr 15.35 – Paws For Thought each-way @ 20/1 

The Ayr Gold Cup is fiercely competitive and with it being a Betfred Super Extra Place Race (six places) it’s worth taking a chance on something to go well at a big price.

Defending champ Summerghand would be insanely popular but has 10st 1lb and 92 years of history counting against him, while ante-post favourite Orazio tops the market for Charlie Hills and has scope for better despite disappointing in last month’s Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood on testing ground. Richard Fahey’s Ramazan is not passed over easily but the one that appeals at the prices is PAWS FOR THOUGHT.

He represents Donald McCain, a trainer better known for his exploits in the National Hunt sphere, and could have more to give after a productive summer.

A six-time winner, three of those came this summer after a wind operation. His two most recent starts were at Chester, including one in Listed company, and he wasn’t done any favours by being drawn wide on the Roodee considering he likes to be ridden forward.

He’s under the radar now, still has scope to defy a mark of 94 and has a handy 5lb claim via in-form rider Robert Whearty. All in all, he looks too big in the betting with track, trip and ground all favourable.

Curragh 15.40 – Cherry Blossom @ 7/4 

Straight after the big race at Ayr, eyes turn to Ireland and the Goffs Million at the Curragh – Europe’s richest 2YO race carrying a bounty of €616,000 for the winner.

Aidan O’Brien will be hoping to take the prize with CHERRY BLOSSOM and the Ballydoyle filly has strong claims.

The daughter of No Nay Never was beaten at Naas on debut over 5½-furlongs in July but made good on the promise shown when easily winning a C&D maiden here in August.

After that, it was off to York and the Group 2 Lowther Stakes four weeks ago. She stepped up once again there, finishing second to Relief Rally – one of the smartest 2YO fillies in Britain this season and unlucky not to be a perfect 5-5 with her only defeat by a nose in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot in June.

A replication of that York effort should see Cherry Blossom hard to beat on these terms, with Frankie Dettori in the plate deputising for Ryan Moore – who rides in Australia’s Golden Rose on Saturday before jetting back to be here on Sunday!

York 16.55 – Solution @ 6/4 

It’s hard to believe that as recently as June the Ralph Beckett-trained SOLUTION was running over a mile in a Doncaster novice, given how quickly he has found his feet in staying company.

The New Approach gelding was immediately upped to 1m4f when he went handicapping this summer, finishing second at Ffos Las and Windsor.

He switched to synthetics last month and has bagged successive two-mile wins at Kempton and Lingfield since, showing a game attitude the first time and defying a rival that carried him off a true course last time out.

The assessor has added 4lb for that latest score 17 days ago and he is now stepped up into Class 4 company. However, Rossa Ryan’s partner clearly handles turf and it’s hard to imagine there isn’t more improvement to come at this distance. They are on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder for today’s racing and are taken to bag this York event.


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