14:30 AYR

With 24 runners declared, the Ayr Silver Cup might look like a minefield to some, but these big sprint handicaps can often be won by a young, improving horse with plenty in hand.

No horse fits that profile better than King’s Lynn  , trained by Betway ambassador Andrew Balding.

He was narrowly beaten on debut last year, but then won the big Doncaster Sales race on just his second start. The form of that race has worked out exceptionally well, with the second- and third-placed horses rated 101 and 110 respectively.

He then wasn’t seen until mid-August when he made his seasonal reappearance at Doncaster, this time getting beaten by a horse called Starman. The form looked pretty ordinary at the time, but Starman has since been out and won a Listed race in great time and is now rated 111.

I’m sure that if the handicapper could reassess King’s Lynn  he would – he’s currently rated 94 and could be very well in.


Despite only attracting a field of four, the Arc Trial will be a competitive race, with all the runners closely matched on official ratings.

Despite being bitterly disappointing on his last two starts, Elarqam  is now fishing in calmer waters and this small field should play to his strength.

He does have some good form – albeit not winning form – in much stronger races and I believe that this is as far as he wants to go distance-wise. He’s still rather lightly raced, so I don’t think those bad performances we’ve seen this season are truly indicative.

His third in the Juddmonte International last season was the best performance of his career and no horse in this race has bettered that level.

With all that said, most four-runner races are won by the class of the rider and his, Jim Crowley, is having an exceptional season.

15:05 AYR

Few debut performances have impressed me as much as Umm Kulthum’s  success at Thirsk – a race that has thrown up a few winners since.

She was then given a Group 2 assignment in the Lowther Stakes on her second start, which highlights how highly she is regarded by her trainer.

She was outpaced early in that race – and was perhaps a little green, too – but you could see that she wanted to go faster and was still learning how to race. She’s smart and she could have too much class.

At a bigger price, Ey Up It’s Maggie  has shown enough in her three starts to be able to be competitive.

15:40 AYR

The Ayr Gold Cup is the feature race on the card at Ayr and, as ever, is a really tough puzzle to solve.

Sprinters in form are always worth keeping on your side and the way Stone of Destiny  put the Portland Handicap to bed last week was impressive. He certainly looks as though he’s found his feet with his sights now lowered out of Group-class races.

He was well beaten in the race last year, but he’s hit a good level of form in his last two and that could be vital.

Arecibo  ran very well last week once again but got going all too late. He could be well drawn in stall 25, though the draw bias at Ayr seems to change every year.

Despite this being only his third start of the season, Air Raid  does have some good form from last year when he was very progressive. He could play a part, too.


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