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Run over 6f, the Ayr Gold Cup is a handicap race open to horses aged 3 or older and staged at Ayr racecourse. The line-up is put together from the highest-rated horses entered, with the maximum number of runners currently standing at 27 – any horses that don’t make the race are offered the chance to run in the consolation races – the Ayr Silver and Bronze Cups. Did you know since 1980 we’ve seen just 3 winning favourites?
Here at JuiceStorm we take a look back at recent winners and gives you the key trends to look out for ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year run on Saturday 18th September.
Recent Ayr Gold Cup Winners
2020 – Nahaarr (7/2 fav)
2019 – Angel Alexander (28/1)
2018 – Baron Bolt (28/1) & Son Of A Rest (5/1 fav)
2017 – Donjuan Triumphant (13/2)
2016 – Brando (11/1)
2015 – Don’t Touch (6/1 fav)
2014 – Louis The Pious (10/1)
2013 – Highland Colori (20/1)
2012 – Captain Ramius (16/1)
2011 – Our Jonathan (11/1)
2010 – Redford (14/1)
2009 – Jimmy Styles (14/1)
2008 – Regal Parade (18/1)
2007 – Advanced (20/1)
2006 – Fonthill Road (16/1)
2005 – Presto Shinko (12/1)
2004 – Funfair Wane (33/1)
2003 – Quito (20/1)
2002 – Funfair Wane (16/1)
Key Ayr Gold Cup Betting Trends
20/20 – Raced within the last 7 weeks
18/20 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
17/20 – Had 3 or more wins to their name
15/20 – Had won over 6f before
15/20 – Failed to win their last race
13/20 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
13/20 – Rated 90-101
13/20 – Carried 9-1 or more
13/20 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
13/20 – Came from a double-figure stall
11/20 – Had 7 or more runs that season
11/20 – Unplaced favourites
11/20 – Winning distance 1 length or less
10/20 – Ran at either Doncaster (3), Goodwood (4) or Haydock (3) last time out
9/20 – Had raced at Ayr before
4/20 – Trained by Kevin Ryan
3/20 – Winning favourites (4 winning favs since 1980)
2/20 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
2/20 – Trained by Andrew Balding (2 of the last 8)
0/20 – Filly or mare winners
11 of the last 12 winners came from stalls 8 or higher (4 of the last 16 winners came from stall 8)
Since 1980 just five winners aged 6 or older
The last horse to win back-to-back races was Heronsiea in 1930/31
The average winning SP in the last 20 years is 15/1
Note: The 2018 renewal was a dead-heat
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Another very competitive renewal of the Ayr Gold Cup. The first thing to note is that 11 of the last 12 winners came from stalls 8 or higher. This is, therefore, a negative for those drawn low – Great Ambassador (1) and Commanche Falls (2), who are both leading fancies, Hey Jonesy (3), Count D’orsay (4), Cheiefofchiefs (5), Fivethousandtoone (6) and Lexington Dash (7). We have seen 4 of the last 16 winners come from stall 8 though, so GULLIVER (e/w) is interesting. This 7 year-old has been running well of late and was only a neck behind Commanche Falls at Goodwood in July. He was also a close fourth in a Listed race in Ireland last time out and is 2lbs lower than when down the field in this race 12 months ago. Just Frank and Popmaster were both good winners last time out and will be popular too, while you feel the top-rated in the field – Summerghand – has a lot of weight to carry (10-1), but has been running well in much better races than this – including only beaten 3 ¾ lengths in the G1 Sprint Cup last time out at Haydock. Bielsa and Mr Wagu are others to consider, while the already mentioned – Great Ambassador – was a solid Listed winner last time out at York and does look an improving sort from the Ed Walker yard. However, this 4 year-old might not have the best draw in 1 and doesn’t look great value in a race with 25 runners in. The other pick, therefore, is the Tim Easterby runner – SUNDAY SOVEREIGN (e/w). This 4 year-old ticks a lot of the main trends and was a comfortable winner at Chester last time out. The form of that race has been franked since too, with the second winning at Chester last weekend. He’s up 5lbs for that win but looked to have a bit up his sleeve at the line, while his only try over this 6f trip resulted in an easy 6l win at the Curragh when trained in Ireland.
Let’s take a look at the main stats that have built up in recent years – plus, once we know the final runners (2 days before the race), we can apply these trends to the entries to find the horses that fit the best profiles of past winners.
Recent Run – With ALL of the last 20 winners having raced in the last 7 weeks, then be sure to look for horses that have had a fairly recent outing. We can take this trend a bit further with 18 of the last 20 (90%) winners actually having last raced within the last four weeks.
Recent Form – Don’t worry if your fancy didn’t win its last race – 15 of the last 20 Ayr Gold Cup winners didn’t either. However, with 13 of the last 20 winners placed in the top four last time out, then we are still looking for horses that ran well in their last race.
Winning Form – 17 of the last 20 winners had won at least three times before in their careers, so this is another big trend to have onside.
Trip – The Ayr Gold Cup is run over a trip of 6f so attracts the best handicap sprinters around. Therefore, it’s no real shock to see 15 of the last 20 winners having won before over this 6f trip.
Favourite – We’ve already mentioned the record of the market leaders in this race. Since 1980 we’ve only had four winning market leaders and one of those was in a dead-heat, so really this only half counts. That said, three of these winning favourites have been since 2015 – therefore, this trend might be moving in the other direction now – backed up again last year when the William Haggas-trained Nahaarr won as the 7/2 jolly.
Ratings/Weight – With 13 of the last 20 winners carrying 9st 1lb or more, plus being rated between 90-101, then this is the weight and ratings range to note. Since 2014, we’ve had six winners carry 9st 1lb or more – last year’s winner was rated 100 and carried 9st 5lbs.
Age – The simple trend when it comes to age is to rule out any horses aged 7 or older – since 1980 we’ve only seen one winner aged 7+ (1993). It’s been the 4 and 5 year-olds that have the best records in recent years – winning 13 of the last 20 renewals between them. While since 2003, we’ve only seen two winning 3 year-olds.
Draw – It’s been the high draws that have dominated of late, but in races with 20+ runners then the draw trend is often going to be leaning towards the higher numbers – purely because more of the runners will be in stalls 10-27. That said, with 11 of the last 12 winners coming from stalls 8 or higher, then this trend can still help us rule out seven of the entries – those drawn between 1-7. With 4 of the last 16 winners coming from stall 8 (25%), this might be another of the draw trends to note.
Track Form – Nine of the last 20 winners had raced at Ayr in the past, so even though track experience isn’t a bad thing, it’s also not something to worry about too much considering 55% of the last 20 winners hadn’t raced at the Scottish venue before.
Trainers/Jockeys – Being such a competitive race then it’s no shock to see an array of trainers and jockeys on the hall of fame in recent years. However, the Kevin Ryan yard have still managed to win four of the last 14 runnings so anything they run should be respected. Tom Dascombe and William Haggas have taken the last two renewals. Plus, the Andrew Balding is another handler to note with two successes since 2013. While in terms of jockeys the pocket Italian – Frankie Dettori – has landed the prize twice since 2009, but interestingly has not had a single ride in the race since!