The ITV cameras are broadcasting NINE races LIVE on Saturday afternoon.

What a feast we’ve got before us – five from Ayr, including a Group 3 and the Ayr Gold Cup, and four from Newbury, featuring two Group contests.

ITV Racing Tips – Saturday 23 September

  • 13:15 Ayr – Revich @ 5/1
  • 13:30 Newbury – Nymphadora7/2
  • 13:50 Ayr – Royal Rhyme @ 6/4
  • 14:05 Newbury – Oneforthegutter @ 13/2
  • 14:25 Ayr – Wobwobwob e/w @ 9/1
  • 14:40 Newbury – Certain Lad e/w @ 8/1
  • 15:00 Ayr – Raqiya @ 5/4
  • 15:15 Newbury – Red Zone Hero @ 15/2
  • 15:35 Ayr – Summerghand e/w @ 10/1

13:15 Ayr – Revich @ 5/1

A decent Class 2 handicap, and the selection is ridden by the fabulous Hollie Doyle. Middleham Park own, so plenty of members will doubtless be present to cheer the 7-yr-old gelding.

Bit of a standing dish at this meeting – must be the autumnal Scottish air. Has performed with great credit in this race, winning and placing, and limbered up nicely for this last time at Chester.

At just short of Saturday’s mile trip he finished strongly, beaten just 2 lengths, off today’s mark of 95. A bit of cut in the ground doesn’t appear to be any problem, and in an ultra-competitive heat Revich can give us a run for our money.

13:30 Newbury – Nymphadora @ 7/2

Newbury’s opener is a Group 3, small but select field, with circa £40k to the winner.

5f fliers on probable heavy ground – so the ability to handle conditions will be paramount. Raasel runs in the colours of the Horse Watchers and is a great credit to connections. Sense Of Duty will probably head the market but won’t have encountered these conditions before on the track. Hasn’t run for 455 days. Asking a lot, I fear.

I’m siding with Nymphadora, Oisin Murphy/Andrew Balding, a respectable Nunthorpe combatant last month and a winner on soft ground at least at Chester in May. The filly has made great strides this term and though needing to find a couple of pounds on official ratings this might just be up her street.

13:50 Ayr – Royal Rhyme @ 6/4

The Doonside Cup – and I’m hoping that a trainer in rude form, Karl Burke, can lift this for us in the shape of Royal Rhyme.

The selection took a soft-ground Goodwood handicap at this trip by 6+ lengths and will seemingly relish any cut here. Fairly lightly-raced, last time represented a career-best and to side with an improving 3-yr-old who is effective on easy autumn ground is easily done.

He’s up a notch here into Listed company but surely deserves to be. 4-yr-old My Prospero is home and hosed on official figures and rates a huge danger – but ‘Rhyme’ gets 5lb and can hopefully continue on that upward curve.

14:05 Newbury – Oneforthegutter @ 13/2

1m 5+f on heavy ground – ouch! My selection Oneforthegutter so nearly won the Mallard at Donny over slightly further last week, on soft, and I’m hoping that compensation of sorts awaits.

Trained by Ian Williams, masterful handler of staying types, and ridden by Classic-winning jockey Richard Kingscote, as he was on Town Moor. A value pick in a tough old contest having struck form at, fingers crossed, just the right time.

14:25 Ayr – Wobwobwob e/w @ 9/1

Hollie Doyle is aboard Wobwobwob and she’s ridden the gelding before, on this very course.

The experienced 5-yr-old is in grand heart right now (the horse), and his two most recent runs are up there with anything he’s achieved previously. Big August handicaps at Goodwood and Ripon have advertised his well-being and again he shouldn’t mind any give in the ground.

Racing off 87 demands a tip-top performance but Hollie’s drawn in midfield, and can choose to stay there or head to either side, as there’s likely to be be three ‘races’ taking place! Each-way, with Betfred paying six places, is definitely, for me, the way to play this one.

14:40 Newbury – Certain Lad e/w @ 8/1

Tough ten-furlong handicap – and again, stamina-sapping heavy ground to contend with. My selection Certain Lad represents upwardly mobile trainer Jack Channon and has claimer George Bass taking off a valuable 3lb.

His mark has dropped to an arguably more realistic 101 from recent heights of 107 (career-high of 112), and sire Clodovil performed well on very soft ground. Certain Lad is 7 nowadays, but all that experience can be brought to bear on ground some of his rivals just won’t fancy one jot. Not at the business end, anyway.

He’s fine with cut, and run respectably on heavy on the solitary occasion that he’s encountered it. It’s the dreaded ‘dead eight’ field for each-way purposes, so I hope no-one pulls out. He’s a value bet and a value shout in a very tricky heat.

15:00 Ayr – Raqiya @ 5/4

Fabulous winner of a decent Haydock novice last time and is pitched fearlessly into this Group 3 in Scotland. A career-best in the north-west, this is a Jim Crowley/Shadwell/Owen Burrows production.

Just the 3 runs so far for the filly, the last of which was emphatic under stand-in ‘The Doyler.’ No fancy entries (yet), but for me Raqiya is yet to be really extended. I’ll be very disappointed if this daughter of Blue Point doesn’t light up the meeting, frankly.

15:15 Newbury – Red Zone Hero @ 15/2

The superb Tom Marquand rides, for trainer Michael Bell. Red Zone Hero is tackling this Group 2 after an impressive and authoritative display at Donny last week in a nursery. Ryan Moore was on top on that day, so one feels connections have a very high regard for him.

That was on soft ground, and it was particularly taxing on Town Moor so there’s every chance he’ll cope better than most with this. It’s a sporting selection offering a bit of value, and the son of Starspangledbanner took at huge leap last time that entitles him in my book to a crack at this.

UPDATE – sadly Red Zone Hero doesn’t go, and in his absence I’m going for ARRAY

15:35 Ayr – Summerghand e/w @ 10/1

The Ayr Gold Cup – I’m treading the path of least resistance in what for me is always a devilishly-difficult puzzle to solve.

Summerghand is almost a national treasure. A 9-yr-old virtual fixture in these huge sprint handicaps, and a winner down the years of more than his fair share – including this very race last year.

Summerghand is invariably held up, and stealthily makes ground in the race’s dying embers to pick up the pieces. He ran a belter at the Curragh 13 days ago (close-up 4th, £80k handicap) and dead-heated at York in August. He’s in great nick.

He’s running off 107 on Saturday, a little below his best of 113 but a fair old steadier for his age. What a credit to connections he is – and what a hero. Each-way is of course the play with six places on offer. The quicker they go in front, the better.

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