ANTE-POST favourite Watchable will race from the far side having been handed stall five in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup tomorrow.
David O’Meara’s four-year-old, who burst into the reckoning for the big sprint handicap with victory at the Curragh on Sunday, was one of the later ones to be picked out of the hat at a special draw ceremony at the track.
The Richard Fahey-trained Alben Star, generally second best in the market, will start from stall seven after being the penultimate name to be drawn.
O’Meara’s Highland Aclaim was the first horse out and given stall 18 with the stands side of the track proving popular with connections.
The Fahey team went for stalls 20 and 22 respectively for Ballesteros and Supplicant who were the next horses out. Scottish trainer Jim Goldie plumped for stall four for last year’s third and top-weight Jack Dexter, and 16 for Hawkeyethenoo.
Ger Lyons’ representative chose stall three for Burn The Boats while the other Irish challenger, An Saighdiur, will be on the other side of the course in stall 23.
Racy, trained by Brian Ellison, bagged the stands side rail draw in the maximum 27-runner field. Kevin Ryan is four-handed as he seeks to win the race for a fourth time. Captain Ramius, successful for the Hambleton trainer in 2012 when drawn eight, has got the same stall again. Hamza is also low in stall six with York Glory and Blaine drawn high in gates 21 and 26 respectively.
Ryan explained why he chose those stalls for his runners. “We opted to go high if we were coming out early and lucky enough we had a couple of horses that came out fairly early,” he said.
“Blaine’s in great form and is on an upward curve. He comes into the race on the back of a very good win. He’ll love the fast ground.
“I thought York Glory would run very well in the Portland and then he disappointed us. He’s struggling to find his form, but if he did come back to himself he’d be dangerously well handicapped.
“Amy [Ryan, daughter], rides Blaine. She gets on great with him. She’s won two good races on him this year so there’s no reason why she shouldn’t ride him.
“We opted to go high with two and we’ve got two drawn low, so we’ve covered both sides of the track.”
Rae Guest is hoping a reproduction of Jane’s Memory’s French form will be enough to see her win the EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes at Ayr today.
The Captain Rio filly won on her debut at Leicester, was narrowly touched off in a Listed race at Chantilly and returned to France to finish second to Goken in a Group Three.
Goken has since franked the form by finishing fourth behind The Wow Signal in the Prix Morny and Guest expects her to run well in the 15-runner Listed race.
“She had her two runs in France and we’ve just given her time,” he said.
“Her form with Goken reads quite well, so I’d be hoping she runs another good race.
“I’m not worried about the ground for her, it was pretty decent the first time she went to France so we won’t be blaming that.
“She’s in the Cheveley Park, but I wouldn’t have thought she’d be going there.
“There’s the Cornwallis for her but we’ll just see how we get on here first.”
Qatar Racing are doubly represented with Mind Of Madness, a winner at this level at York, and Cool Strutter, trained by Richard Hannon who told his website: “He had three of these just in front of him in the Roses Stakes at York, and on that form he should again be thereabouts.”
Others of note include the William Haggas-trained Squats, winner of three of his last four, Bryan Smart’s Fendale, winner of his first two starts and seventh in the Gimcrack, and James Tate’s Al Fareej.
GOLD CUP DRAW
1 Ruwaiyan 20-1
2 Minalisa 25-1
3 Burn The Boats 14-1
4 Jack Dexter 16-1
5 Watchable 8-1 Fav
6 Hamza 25-1
7 Alben Star 10-1
8 Captain Ramius 33-1
9 Ashpan Sam 16-1
10 Duke Of Firenze 25-1
11 Eastern Impact 14-1
12 Jimmy Styles 33-1
13 Rene Mathis 16-1
14 Go Far 16-1
15 Mass Rally 14-1
16 Hawkeyethenoo 16-1
17 Barnet Fair 25-1
18 Highland Acclaim 12-1
19 Louis The Pious 20-1
20 Ballesteros 33-1
21 York Glory 33-1
22 Supplicant 25-1
23 An Saighdiur 25-1
24 Heaven’s Guest 25-1
24 Fast Shot 25-1
25 Blaine 16-1
26 Racy 33-1
Odds supplied by William Hill