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2021 Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup - Race Details
- Date and Time: Saturday September 18, 3.40pm
- Live on: ITV and RacingTV
- Course: Ayr
- Status: Heritage Handicap
- Distance: Six Furlongs
- Age: 3yo+
- Prize fund: £150,000 (£77,310 to the winner)
2021 Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup bookmaker odds (five-day stage): 6/1 Great Ambassador, 12/1 Bickerstaffe, Bielsa, Fresh, 14/1 Boosala, Commanche Falls, Gulliver, Summerghand, 16/1 Capote's Dream, Just Frank, Ostilio, Popmaster, River Nymph, Royal Scimitar, Staxton, 20/1 Bommshalaa, Desert Safari, Fivethousandtoone, Gioia Cieca, Hightimeyouwon, Lampang, Magical Spirit, May Sonic, Motagally, Mr Wagyu, Pendleton, Snazzy Jazzy, Sunday Sovereign, Venturous, 25/1 Above, Chiefofchiefs, Edraak, Gale Force Maya, Rathbone, Total Commitment, 33/1 Air Raid, Boardman, Brad The Brief, Count D'Orsay, Hey Jonesy, Lexington Dash, Major Jumbo, Mr Lupton, Punchbowl Flyer, Soldier's Minute, Steamline, Summer Sands, 40/1 Spycatcher, 50/1 Volatile Analyst.
Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Ten-Year Trends
- 10/10 winners were aged no older than six
- 10/10 winners did not run in a Group 3 or a Listed race on previous outing
- 10/10 winners were a colt or gelding (no female has ever won the Ayr Gold Cup)
- 10/10 winners had not won more than twice in at Class 2 level
- 10/10 winners raced within the last six weeks
- 9/10 winners had at least ten previous career runs
- 8/10 winners had at least three previous wins to their name
- 8/10 winners were no bigger than 20/1
- 7/10 winners carried 9st+
- 7/10 were NOT send off favourite
- 6/10 winners did NOT win their previous start
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Key Trials for the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup
The Stewards’ Cup is one of the most important Horse Racing pointers to the Ayr Gold Cup. Five Ayr winners ran in the Goodwood contest on their previous outing, more than any other individual race.
Nahaarr could finish only ninth in the 2019 Stewards’ Cup but left that form behind to reward favourite backers at Ayr on his next start.
Comanche Falls won the Stewards’ Cup in 2021 but he might struggle to confirm that form with Great Ambassador who was clear of the remainder to race on the far side of the track that day. Gulliver and Chiefofchiefs also ran well in that Goodwood contest but they are both older than six, which rules them out on the trends.
Doncaster's Portland Handicap, run over five furlongs and 143yds, is normally the last big sprint handicap to take place before the Ayr Gold Cup and has been the stepping stone to Ayr glory on four separate occasions. Count D’Orsay, trained by Tim Easterby, was a bit of an eyecatcher in finishing strongly from off the pace this time around and would be an interesting runner if getting into the Ayr contest, which isn’t guaranteed.
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In recent years the most successful trainer in the race with six wins is David Nicholls – Bahamian Pirate (2000), Continent (2001), Funfair Wane (2002 and 2004), Regal Parade (2008) and Redford (2010).
Kevin Ryan stands alone among modern-day trainers still holding a license, with four Ayr Gold Cup wins to his name, the most recent of which was Brando in 2016. All four of Ryan's winners were sent off double-figure odds.
Richard Fahey and Andrew Balding, both with two wins, are the only other trainers to have won the race more than once. Fahey has also saddled horses to hit the frame in the last two years.
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Frankie Dettori is the only modern-day jockey to have won the Ayr Gold Cup more than once. The Italian won it back-to-back in 2009 and 10, aboard Jimmy Styles and Redford, who were both 5-year-olds sent off 14/1 chances.
Tom Marquand won the race for the first time in 2020 and might be in line for another plum ride having partnered ante-post favourite Great Ambassador to victory at York earlier this month.
Danny Tudhope is the losing-most jockey to ride in the race, having been beaten on all 15 of his Ayr Gold Cup rides.
Who Fits The Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Trends Best In 2021?
This is a particularly tricky race to assess from a distance because a draw bias can often come to light after the Bronze and Silver Cup races.
From this range, the standout contender is the progressive Great Ambassador who ran a mighty race in defeat given where he was drawn in the Stewards’ Cup. However, Ed Walker’s charge is going to have to buck the trend of recent winners not having run in a Listed race last time, while he’s to concede weight to all bar one of his rivals.
Boosala, a completely unexposed horse trained by last year’s winning handler, could easily be better than his mark, but he’s a horse to steer clear of on the trends.
Bielsa hasn’t won a race since 2019 but he has run some big races in defeat, notably in the Stewards’ Cup last time. He wasn’t really helped by racing alone for most of the way towards the stands’ side in this race last year and, providing he gets a bit more luck this time, he looks a solid play on the trends.
At bigger odds, Soldier’s Minute, who is 6lb lower than when only beaten two lengths into fourth in this race 12 months ago, is worth a small play at bigger odds.
Last Ten Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Winners
- 2020 Nahaarr 7/2F (Trained by William Haggas)
- 2019 Angel Alexander 28/1 (Tom Dascombe)
- 2018 DEAD HEAT between Baron Bolt 28/1 (Paul Cole) and Son Of Rest 5/1F (J A Stack)
- 2017 Donjuan Triumphant 13/2 (Andrew Balding)
- 2016 Brando 11/1 (Kevin Ryan )
- 2015 Don't Touch 6/1F (Richard Fahey)
- 2014 Louis The Pious 10/1 (David O'Meara)
- 2013 Highland Colori 20/1 (Andrew Balding)
- 2012 Captain Ramius 16/1 (Kevin Ryan)
- 2011 Our Jonathan 11/1 (Kevin Ryan)
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