Angel Alexander flies in face of odds to win Ayr Gold Cup

Angel Alexander sprang a 28-1 surprise when coming down the forecast unfavoured far side to land the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.

Andrea Atzeni riding Pierre Lapin win The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes. Picture: Getty.
Andrea Atzeni riding Pierre Lapin win The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes. Picture: Getty.

The Tom Dascombe-trained gelding was one of only two three-year-olds in the line-up, but produced the goods to come out on top in one of the most competitive sprint handicaps in the calendar.

On settling down after the start, Richard Kingscote made the brave decision to keep Angel Alexander as one of only six in the 24-strong field to stick towards the stands side. It paid dividends with Angel Alexander showing a high draw (24 from 25 declared) was no detriment to success.

Major Jumbo and Gunmetal led the way for the high numbers in the early stages with Justanotherbottle, Staxton and Laugh A Minute among those prominent in the bigger group.

Kingscote made his move over a furlong out and Angel Alexander pulled clear of those around him and had enough in hand to beat the other group, led by Growl (28-1) by half a length.

Gulliver (8-1) was another half-length away in third with his David O’Meara-trained stablemate, Summerghand (11-1), a further three-quarters of a length back in fourth place.

The Irish-trained 100-30 favourite Buffer Zone, from the Ger Lyons stable, was among those on the near side but proved disappointing after his victory at the Curragh six days earlier.

“I was disappointed I couldn’t get there myself because the train was delayed,” said Dascombe.

“It didn’t change the result and all I can say is Richard gave it an amazing ride. The horse is very genuine. It was brilliant and for good people like Peter Birbeck, Steve Mound and Keith Trowbridge, it’s wonderful to have a big win for them.

“For a three-year-old to win like that – funny thing we were third out of the draw for the starting stalls and I went for 24. It’s all just worked out like a fairytale. “If we had been drawn two I don’t think we’d have won.”

At Newbury, Pierre Lapin was sent off the 9-4 joint-favourite along with Richard Hannon’s July Stakes winner Mystery Power. Pierre Lapin always seemed to be travelling smoothly and he strode out impressively to the line, winning by a length and a half.