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Ayr- Preview 17th September 2022

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.


The biggest day’s racing of the Scottish Flat season takes place this afternoon at Ayr Racecourse with the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup taking centre stage.

The £150,000 six furlong sprint takes place at 3.40pm and with 25 runners set to go to post it looks set to be a fast and furious renewal of the historic race.

Sponsors Virgin Bet et have made Khanjar 4/1 favourite for this race. The William Haggas 3-year-old gelding is lightly raced and looks like he has plenty of scope for improvement. Stall  5 should suit  and after his impressive win in The Tin Man Handicap at Haydock 2 weeks ago he is likely to be well in at the weights running off a mark of 100.

Last Years’ Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup winner, Bielsa (9/1) got drawn in stall 17. He won coming flying down the near side rail last year but has not registered a win since that epic victory. He remains a danger running off just 1lb higher this year and is sure to be popular in the betting.

Bielsa’s trainer, Kevin Ryan also saddles Bergerac (16/1), Aleezdancer (25/1) and Gis A Sub (25/1) as he looks to go for his sixth win in this race.

Commanche Falls (10/1) will carry top weight, running off a mark of 109. He finished a close second  to Summerghand at York last month over 6 furlongs and won the hotly contested Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood at odds of 25/1. Commanche Falls is drawn in stall 9 and looks set to give his trainer Michael Dods yet another big run. Summerghand (10/1) is drawn in stall 12 and will be looking to improve from his 8th place finish in last year’s Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup now running off a lower mark.

The Virgin Bet Ayr Silver Cup has a £60,000 prize fund and Tim Easterby’s course and distance winner Snash should run a big race as should Vintage Clarets for Richard Fahey.

Scotland’s only Group race, the Virgin Bet Firth Of Clyde Stakes, has attracted a quality field and Kevin Ryan’s Queen Me is the one to beat here.