AYR – Saturday June 22hd
Going – Good to firm (Good in places)
This is a distinctly decent meeting with £135,000 up for grabs, but a little eclipsed by the last day of Royal Ascot. However, with a Listed contest and three Class 2 handicaps on the card this could prove one that goes under the radar. It’s worth carrying a few forward from contests here.
Rain was in the air, but the course missed the worst of the showers and the ground remained on the fast side. Given the preparation troubles Ayr have had this year, and bearing in mind the flat course looked in poor condition in March, the surface was in very good condition.
2.25 5f Scottish Sun Miss Scotland Handicap (73-86)
A very open contest to start the card with most having some sort of chance on recent form.
JEDWARD looked the likely winner when bursting into the lead at the furlong pole but she was headed in the final 100 yards and run out of it. She’s in good form and should be capable of winning a race before long.
MIDNIGHT DYNAMO finished with a flourish to take the contest at what appeared generous odds of 16/1. She had a few of these behind when third at Musselburgh and gained the upper hand here close home.
CRIMSON KNOT, like many from Alan Berry, races often but wins only in her turn. She made it first three homes for the fair sex by staying on through the field to take third. She probably needs just to be eased a little in grade if she is to score.
ARCTIC FEELING raced prominently but was held from the furlong pole. He won a better event than this at Epsom last time, but that was over six furlongs and he made need that extra distance to be seen at his best.
BOSUN BREEZE showed good early pace but was beaten two out.
ROTHESAY CHANCER couldn’t follow up a decent effort in the Scottish sprint Cup and trailed in last.
3.00 5f Scottish Sun Land O’ Burns Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)
The Land O’ Burns Stakes has varied in conditions over the years but has now settled as competitive fillies’ sprint race at this meeting. The first two are decent Listed class animals.
MY PROPEELER thrives on the fast ground and asserted well after challenging for the lead at the furlong pole. Kept to the right sort of event she should continue to thrive while the sun shines.
JWALA took it up two out and briefly looked the likely winner, but was passed in the final furlong by My Propeller. She emerged from handicaps to give sole power a decent race at Doncaster at September. She is decent at this level and capable of winning a Listed sprint.
Dropped to five furlongs for the first time, I’M SO GLAD ran to her best in third place. She made progress two out but was never in a position to trouble the first two. All her wins have come in fields of 9 or less and it could be the hurly burly of big field sprints isn’t for her.
EXCELETTE ran pretty much to Haydock form with the first two. Leading early, she was held from the furlong pole.
JILLNEXTDOOR ran as well as one could expect from a filly held in Class 3 handicaps. She raced prominently and kept on sufficient well for fifth place. She might well be seen to better effect with some cut in the ground.
JADANNA looked as good as any in the paddock. She made progress through the field late on despite being denied a clear run. Now on a mark of 90 she may have chances in a handicap.
3.35 1m Scottish Sun on Sunday 3yo Handicap (81-95)
A decent looking bunch of three-year-olds were on show for this contest which might prove to have been an above average event.
The winner OFF ART is a catching type, though he’s still on the leggy side and looks likely to strengthen further. On that basis it is encouraging that his sustained run allowed him to lead on the line and record his third win. I believe he can turn into at least a Listed class performer in time.
PARTY ROYAL ran into a progressive sort in Springheel Jake at Hamilton last time, having made almost all at Haydock before that and was desperately unlucky to be pipped by another good ‘un here. He’s done nothing wrong and must surely win a handicap soon.
HAY DUDE chased the first two honestly enough from two out but was always held. This was a sound enough effort and may prove decent form.
COUNTRY WESTERN was very awkward in preliminaries and took a keen hold in the race. He did well enough under the circumstances to hold fourth and can do better if he calms down a bit.
ROYAL PRIZE didn’t have the pace to go with the first two but was fifth, in amongst a group of closely matched animals.
SUBLIMATION made an effort two out but could make no impression on the leaders. It took him a while to break his maiden and this was a tough ask on handicap debut, but he did enough to suggest he can make the grade in handicaps with experience.
FLYMAN had plasters on the inside of his hocks which might suggest an action problem. He raced in touch until weakening quickly from before the furlong pole.
4.15 1m People’s Postcode Lottery Handicap (81-99)
Looks won out over recent form here as my two paddock picks on behalf of The Racing Forum provided a forecast at 22/1 and 4/1. CAPAILL LIATH has shown nothing form wise this season, but he looked an absolute picture in the paddock and really ready for this run. He’s a nice looking well balanced grey and taking to the eye. He made smooth progress up the straight and led inside the final furlong to take the contest. If you are able then a look in the paddock would probably help if this one is running in the future.
DUBAI DYNAMO was another who looked in excellent condition. He recently notched up a century of runs, but clearly maintains enthusiasm and ability. Clearly a hardy soul, he had 22 runs last season and this was his twelfth run of 2013. He only wins in his turn, but is seldom out of the first four or five.
BEACON LODGE looked in good nick but gave his stable girl a lot of trouble in the paddock. He chased the leaders from two out without looking like winning. He has been on marks up to 113 and contested last year’s Ayr Gold Cup off 110, but has been eased significantly of late and might now be back in with a chance of winning handicaps.
TRAIL BLAZE won six times last year but is still on manageable mark, only 2lbs greater than his win at Thirsk last September, a win which should his battling qualities. Beaten two lengths here was no disgrace and this run might bring him on sufficiently to be at the head of affairs next time.
4.50 6f Sunsport 2yo Maiden (Class 4)
This was decent contest last season and may have yielded a decent winner on this occasion. Stepping up from an encouraging third on Newmarket debut, QUEEN CATRINE quickly put distance between herself and her opponents after leading at the furlong pole. It was an impressive run from one who looks well capable of cutting it in much better company, particularly if taking on fillies.
TANSEEB had shown some form but was found out in a decent contest at York. He battled well enough to hold second place but was well held by the winner. This was a fair enough effort and he should be capable of taking a maiden or perhaps a nursery in the coming weeks.
STATE ANTHEM kept on encouragingly in the closing stages to take third place. She’s a half-sister to a 1m 2f winner and looks sure to be suited by seven furlongs when given the chance.
DONNY ROVER was off the bridle and behind early on but staying on through the field to take fourth place. Likely to find one or two too good in maidens, he looks one whose place is in nursery handicaps.
JACQOUTTE DELAHAYE looked well enough but suffered interference early on and never looked happy. She faded from two out and is much better than the form suggests.
The two newcomers STRAITS OF MALACCA and TWO SHADES OF GREY were both very green and spooky in the preliminaries. They both showed good early pace, Straits Of Malacca proving best and only just run out of the places close home. Both of these should offer better for the experience.
HANDWOVEN looked plenty fit enough but was comfortably put in his places and isn’t offering immediate prospects of success.
5.25 6f Lidl Surprises 3yo Handicap (59-78)
I was stood by the paddock entrance here and saw Ian Semple taken to task because VANESSA was being led down to the start without her jockey Royston fFrench who seem a bit mystified by proceedings. The racecourse official present seemed to think it was against the rules, though the absence of an enquiry report suggests otherwise. The filly has shown plenty of temperament before and made no show.
SAND BOY provided Charles hills with a quick-fire double, quickening in decent style within the final furlong. A winner on the all-weather, he appears to be an improver and the ease of win suggests follow up is possible.
SOMEONE’S DARLING set the standard here following a Redcar win. She kept on well enough to fill second place, remains in good form and still looks weighted to win a race.
REPITITION kept on for third and is a lightly raced runner who should be in the mix in future contests in this class.
OPT OUT won twice last season, but struggled recently and has now moved to Alistair Whillans. He raced up with the pace and was just dipped out of the places close home. This was encouraging and there may be opportunities around the local circuit.
6.00 1m 2f Arnold Clark Fillies’ Handicap (72-87)
Five competitive fillies here and all in with a chance entering the final furlong.
MAVEN is going well on fast ground and was brought to take up the running at the furlong pole, staying on and holding her main challenger to the line.
STAR OF LAHIB’s jockey was collared by a spectator to have a photo taken with the man’s two sons before the race. Asked if he thought he would win he said "I wish this rain had come an hour ago". His mount ran well enough to chase up the leader and it might be worth taking the hint if the going eases a little.
ACT YOUR SHOE SIZE raced prominently, was tapped for speed three out and kept on without threatening after. A sound enough race but the handicapper has her in his grip.
Hat-trick seeker CHRISTMAS LIGHT made an effort two out but could make no impression. She is another that goes well on fast ground but a six pound rise may have done for her here.
LADY MACDUFF led until over one out and was then beaten. She’s on a good mark but might need a drop down a grade.