Ayr - Saturday June 21st
Going – Good to Firm
A decent card as a support to the final day of Royal Ascot with fair weather and a decent turn out. The prize money for this meeting is very good, though field sizes were a little disappointing for such decent rewards.
1.50 6f Sunsport EBF 2yo Maiden (Class 4)
Two pulled clear here with the winner’s experience perhaps making the difference in a close contest.
SQUATS caught the eye most of these in the paddock, though he was a little fizzy pre-race. A fourth at Sandown on debut looked sound enough and he built on that to take this contest. Having raced prominently he led over a furlong out and was then challenged, but he showed plenty of resolution to rally and win perhaps slightly more comfortably than the head margin suggests. Last year’s winner was a Group performer, and though he doesn’t look in that class but he’s going the right way.
SUREWECAN looked fit enough on debut and came with a challenge to look the likely winner inside the final furlong. He couldn’t quite respond to the winner’s rally, but is plenty good enough to win a maiden.
SALATEEN was up with the pace most of the way but held from the furlong pole. His dam won from 1m 1f up to 1m 5f and a longer trip may not do any harm.
ZUZINIA was most exposed of these and her previous record didn’t look exciting enough to justify opening as favourite. She was weak in the market and found wanting form over a furlong out.
Newcomers SANDGATE and SPIRIT OF THE SEA both showed inexperience in the rear, but picked up a place or two late on and should come on for the experience.
CLASSIC FLYER showed early paced but was well spent before the furlong pole.
TECUMSEH was backed from 13/2 in to 100/30, but those backers didn’t see this one in the paddock. He was playing up and looked a bit headstrong to me. In the race he raced very keenly early on and had nothing left by the two furlong pole.
SIR ACCLAM was outpaced from two out. He’s a half-bother to stayer and hurdler Mamlook so may need a fair bit more ground to cover.
2.20 1m Scottish Sun on Sunday 3yo Handicap (76-95)
A nice looking bunch in the paddock and there’s probably more to come going forward from a number of these.
Lightly raced PRETZEL was impressive, taking it up shortly after the two furlong pole and quickly putting the race to bed. He’s clearly a good deal better than the 90 mark he ran off here, and will likely turn out to be better than a handicapper. He may have one more pot at a handicap before moving up in grade.
BRAIDLEY is a rangy sort who performed very creditably in second place. He chased the winner in the final two furlongs and stayed on honestly enough.
Under a 6lb penalty SIR GUY PORTEOUS performed soundly enough, outpointed for second in the closing stages. He like to lead but was perhaps a little keen early on.
MIME DANCE kept on for fourth without getting near the lead and ran a similar race to HOMESTRETCH who pretty much accompanied him through the final two furlongs.
ARAGAL looked very well but could offer disappointingly little when asked the question in the straight.
MR MATTHEWS was held up and could never match the others.
2.55 1m Slaters Handicap (85-97)
The winner TWO FOR TWO is quite well exposed, but was recording a highest winning mark and has been competitive in Class 2 events. Running off near top weight here probably gave him that class edge he needed. He’s pretty much forced now into running in the top handicaps around one mile.
DUBAI DYNAMO ran second in this contest last year and has been thereabouts on most of his outings this term. Moved up 4lbs after his win at Chester, he remains very much competitive.
TRAIL BLAZE pressed the leader and led two furlongs out before being passed inside the final furlong. This was a fair enough effort and he would be of interest if able to get a comfortable lead.
NORSE BLUES got a bit squeezed up two furlongs and couldn’t get to the leaders afterwards. He has won off similar marks.
BALTY BOYS was perhaps fortunate when winning at Nottingham and didn’t get into a position to seriously threaten in the straight.
CAPO ROSSO set the pace but was found wanting from two out, as was LAWMANS THUNDER who was a stand out on looks but found disappointingly little when ridden and is perhaps better on the all-weather.
STONEFIELD FLYER was going well two furlongs out but emptied rather quickly and didn’t see out the trip.
3.35 1m Arnold Clark Handicap (75-93)
STRICTLY SILVER raced prominently and built on the promise he had shown last time at Chester. He led three out, stretched the field form there and was driven out to hold the advantage. This was the first time he had raced below a Class 2 event for a couple of years and the easier task clearly suited.
ONE PEKAN went honestly after the winner from two out without looking like catching him. He’s relatively lightly raced and appears to be coming to hand.
ARGAKI put in an effort from three out but appeared to be hanging a bit from that point and third was always going to be as close as he would be from a furlong out. He handles quick ground, so that presumably wasn’t a problem, and I’m told connections were pleased enough with this run if adding a rider that it may have come a little soon, being only three days after a decent effort at Hamilton.
MUHARRER had every chance was held from the furlong marker. Conditions suited here and he couldn’t quite overcome the 7lb rise in the weights, though he didn’t actually weaken and might be better with a stiffer finish.
COSMIC HALO didn’t have an awful lot of room in the latter stages and was ridden with hands and heels once his chance had gone. This run did give a degree of encouragement. To show how hectic a life jockeys lead, no more than 5 minutes after dismounting Samantha Bell was off to the car park ready for the journey to Haydock for a single ride.
LOVE MARMALADE made moderate late progress from the rear but was never seriously competitive.
BEAUMONT’S PARTY had every chance three but wasn’t good enough from that point.
SAN CASSIANO led until three out and then steadily faded.
4.15 5f Scottish Sun Miss Scotland Handicap (74-93)
BURNING THREAD runs in some competitive sprints and is at his best on fast ground. This wouldn’t have been the toughest event he’s taken part in of late and he came with a late rattle to lead on the line.
BEAR BEHIND set the pace, was briefly headed by Alaskan Bullet and then rallied determinedly only to be done right in the shadow of the post. He won’t go up more than a pound or two for this, is in really good heart and capable at this level.
ALASKAN BULLET looks to be a tough ride. Missing the break, he worked his way into the race on the far rail, forced his way through a gap inside the final furlong but then lacked the resolution of the second and was headed in the last 50 yards. Capable but probably not easy to win with.
DOCTOR PARKES was a length and a half back and that was as good as he was on the day. Not bad but not quite good enough.
NEW FFOREST led briefly at the furlong pole but capitulated rather quickly.
4.50 5f Scottish Sun EBF Land O’ Burns Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)
This contest is a neat bit of planning that fills a niche in a week when most Pattern action is concentrated on Ascot. Once again it drew a competitive field but it’s a pity that Channel 4 couldn’t see fit to squeezing the race into their coverage.
SWAN SONG was made favourite and looked very calm in the preliminaries. However, she blotted her copybook at the start and was withdrawn, never looking remotely like consenting to entering the stalls.
HAY CHEWED went close in open listed company at Sandown last time and made no mistake against fellow fillies. One of a host of fillies on their toes in the preliminaries, she made smooth headway from two out , soon led and had the race in safe keeping inside the final furlong. The time of this race was a shade slower than the preceding handicap though suggesting it won’t be a given that the winner can step up to Group 3 level.
INYORDREAMS, one who looked a bit headstrong in the paddock, was always on the premises and stepped on previous performances which had merited a rating of 80. This was her first try back at this distance since fifth at York on her racecourse bow.
REROUTE was produced to have every chance over a furlong out but could make no further impression. She’s more lightly raced than some though has only once raced at a lower level than this.
SURVIVED, a bit revved up before the start, was outpaced mid-race but stayed on again to take fourth place.
VALONIA raced up with a strong pace but was held from the furlong pole.
RISKIT FOR A BISKIT set the pace but had nothing to repel challengers approaching the final furlong.
5.25 6f Leith 3yo Handicap (55-80)
A difficult race to assess since only two got competitive and one of those was out of the weights.
SPIRIT OF ALSACE chased the clear leader and closed approaching the final furlong. Leading inside the final furlong he had to hold off a challenge from the pacemaker. This one was really revved up before the start, which is unusual for a Jim Goldie animal, but did at least manage to channel his energies in the right direction. This race was run almost a second slower than the opening two-year-old event.
SIGNORE PICCOLO set a strong pace and was five lengths clear after two furlongs. Distress signals were showing approaching the furlong pole and he was passed, but rallied to good enough effect to make the winner pull out the stops. Blistering pace is this one’s style so a good draw on a sharp track will aid his chances.
HEROIQUE was never nearer than at the finish and she may be just a little better with cut in the ground.
SLEEPER CLASS was taken off her feet early on and couldn’t get in a challenge.
SANDRA’S DIAMOND went sharply right at the start and lost any chance at that point.
ASPIRANT looked very well but was well beaten and is off his game, the application of blinkers having no effect.