Friday Racing: Expect a Dominating Performance at Ayr6 min read
The draw for tomorrow’s Ayr Gold Cup took place on Wednesday and the favourite (from 6s) Son Of Rest is drawn towards the stands’ rail in stall 17. The ground was described as soft before racing on Thursday and the clerk of the course Graeme Anderson reported 6mls of rain was expected on Thursday evening and a similar amount on Friday. It that is the case – and the BBC weather forecast contradicts that – Saturday’s feature is likely to be run on heavy ground, but that is if the forecast is correct.
At Ayr this afternoon Dominating (4.45) has not encountered soft ground since winning at Pontefract last October from a mark 8lbs higher than he will run off this afternoon. The Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old was blinkered for the first time when squeezed out at the start at Chester last time in a slowly run race over two miles.
The selection was doing all his best work at the finish on the Roodeye and is a rare runner from the yard who has no history of going from the front. There is no guaranteed pace in the race, however, and if no other jockey wants to make it I hope Franny Norton takes the bull by the horns with his stamina guaranteed.
The form of Make Me’s (5.20) second at Carlisle last month on soft ground was given a boost when the runner up won from a 6lbs higher mark last weekend and the hope is that Tim Easterby’s three-year-old can defy his own 3lbs rise in the finale. The selection does get further, and the hope is that he doesn’t get too far back from his good draw in stall four.
Stablemate Se You is 6lbs wrong at the weights, but may have a key role to play given he went from the front at Beverley midweek and the hope is that he can set the race up for Make Me.
At Newbury I am going to give another chance to Infrastructure (2.20) despite a poor run at Goodwood last time at their feature meeting. The selection looked a progressive sort when scoring at Salisbury on his penultimate start and his 50-day absence post Goodwood suggests something was amiss last time.
Dirty Rascal has been raised 11lbs in the weights for finishing runner up in the big Sales race at Doncaster last week, but he can run from his old mark this afternoon and is obviously the one to beat off his old mark. That said he is going to be a very short price and he has to prove he stays today’s trip of 7f.
Joey Barton’s Lonely Boy (2.50) may have been a shade unlucky at Musselburgh last time and will be hoping they go a decent clip as he is a strong stayer over seven furlongs. Jason Watson takes off a valuable 3lbs aboard Deira Surprise for Hugo Palmer and I certainly would not want to take a short price aboard the Hannon top-weight despite being 11lbs “well-in”.
Hannon has made little secret of how highly he regards Beat Le Bon (3.25) although it should be noted that his colt was pulled out of a race recently at the 11th hour. The trainer saddled a very good juvenile winner (Walkinthesand) at Sandown earlier in the week and he had a similar profile to Beat Le Bon in that he had run a promising second on his first start.
Beat Le Bon receives 3lbs and more from three of the previous winners in the field and I hope he can improve past them in what looks a good renewal of this long-standing race.
I am disappointed to see Gododdin drawn out on the wing in stall 16 in the concluding 10f handicap and that tempers confidence behind Hugo Palmer’s three-year-old. The form of last week’s Brighton success was franked by the win of Geetanjali at Sandown earlier in the week, but he is reluctantly overlooked in favour of the returning Infanta Isabella (5.05).
George Baker’s 4-year-old filly has been raised 6lbs for scoring at Leicester on her handicap debut back in May and Jim Crowley, who was in the saddle last time, keeps the mount.
Beat Le Bon