THE big race this Saturday is the Ayr Gold Cup and it’s one hell of a puzzle.
The 200K pot is up for grabs and as you’d expect a full field of 25 are treasure hunting.
The warm favourite Buffer Zone is undoubtedly the one to beat after his impressive win at the Curragh last weekend.
He remains on the up, and it’s impossible to say if a 5lbs penalty will halt him here. But at the prices he can be taken on.
Thankfully, tactics rather than the draw could play a big role. The ground has been quick all week and on the sprint course, plenty of winners have raced prominently.
The big front runner in the field is Clive Cox’s LOUIE DE PALMA and the seven-year-old sneaks in at the bottom the weights.
He looks a big price and could hold onto a place the way many races have unfolded over the week.
Cox has his team in good order and he cannot be ruled out under Hector Crouch.
This horse does tend to be won by a classier sprinter though and that brings in the Kevin Ryan pair of Major Jumbo and Hey Jonesy.
The quick ground may have gone against the former though, while Hey Jonesy has a hot and cold profile, to say the least.
Ryan’s record in the race – three wins since 2011 – means you have to think twice about passing them over.
Ayr Gold Cup selections and best odds
3.50 Ayr: GULLIVER @ 8-1 with Coral Bet Now
3.50 Ayr: LOUIE DE PALMA (EW) @ 25-1 with Coral Bet Now
The other trainer you have to watch here is David O’Meara, who saddles five runners, all with cracking chances.
The bookies have Arecibo and GULLIVER as his big two, and it’s the second of those who looks set to go mighty close.
He ran a blinder in Ireland behind Buffer Zone last weekend and is 4lbs better off this time around.
He took a big bump at a crucial moment last Sunday, before flying home for a taking third.
He has his conditions, and so long as he can make his ground up and the front-runners don’t get the run of things, he should be finishing better than most. That way we have both angles covered in terms of pace.