QTS Silver Cup Handicap | 6f | 3yo+ | ITV/RTV
Plenty of punters will be watching the QTS Ayr Silver Cup with the aim of working out which side of the draw might be favoured for the feature Gold Cup later on the card.
However, it may not pay to read too much into the result this year with regards to the draw because all the early speed in the Silver Cup is drawn low and there aren’t many pace angles in the higher stalls. The opposite is true in the Gold Cup, where the majority of the speed is drawn middle to high and there is a lack of pace in the low numbers.
You can expect Arbalet to be leading them up the far side here from stall two, but the defection of confirmed front-runner Byline, from stall nine, means he might get his own way on that side. It depends which way Louie De Palma goes from the middle of the track in stall 13, but I’m assuming he will head far side. Of those in higher numbers, only Hyperfocus (stall 18) and Dylan De Vega (25) stand out as leaders. There isn’t loads of pace in the race.
That might suit market leader King’s Lynn, who is drawn close to the speed of Arbalet from stall six on the far side and showed plenty of pace when second at Doncaster last month.
The lightly raced three-year-old was a beaten 8-11 favourite that day and went through the race like the winner – traded at 1.27 in running – before tiring in the closing stages. But that was his first run since landing a valuable sales race at Doncaster last year and he shaped like he was in need of the outing. I’m expecting significant improvement with that under his belt.
Atalanta’s Boy gave the Stewards’ Cup form a boost when landing a 6f handicap at Goodwood last time and six of those who finished ahead of him in the Stewards' Cup compete in the Gold Cup later on this card. Atalanta’s Boy could give a pointer to their chances with a good run here, although he is a hold-up performer who probably wants them to go a fast pace.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
What they say
Tom Marquand, rider of Aplomb
He'll enjoy it if it stays on the easy side but he needs to bounce back from a couple of below-par efforts. I'm sure William [Haggas, trainer] will have him back firing again.
David Menuisier, trainer of Atalanta's Boy
He won very well at Goodwood last time, for which he has a 5lb penalty, but he will need luck in running as this is a much bigger field. He'll handle the ground as he goes on anything.
Oisin Murphy, rider of King's Lynn
His form is strong as he ran a good second to Starman at Doncaster last time and that was boosted when the winner won a Listed race at York. It's a competitive race but he seems in good form after a short break and goes there with a big chance.
Richard Spencer, trainer of Bernardo O'Reilly
The handicapper has put him up 4lb for winning at Doncaster last time, for which he is carrying a 5lb penalty. He put up a career-best that day and was suited by how the race was run. He's come out of that in great form and should be even better suited to this ground.
David O’Meara, trainer of Muscika and Arbalet
Muscika has won well at Ayr before so the track is good for him and last time at Chester he didn’t get the best of trips, so I’d rule that out. Arbalet ran well at Ascot and is dropping in trip for this race, so it’s a bit of an experiment with him.
Clive Cox, trainer of Louis De Palma
He’s a real regular performer in races like this and he’ll love the ground. He’s got good form at the track as well.
Tim Palin, boss of Middleham Park Racing, owners of Admirality
I'm sure he has a big one in him and he so very nearly won the Bunbury Cup last year. He has such a high cruising speed that it's difficult to know if he needs six or seven furlongs but he could be dangerous off his current mark.
Karl Burke, trainer of Lord Oberon
He ran a blinder on his comeback at Haydock the other day and has improved fitness wise for that but any further drying of the ground would be a negative.
Brian Smart, trainer of Northernpowerhouse
He's back in trip but is not short of speed and worked very well the other day. He's a good-ground horse so we could do with it drying out a bit and he has an in-form jockey on board [Graham Lee].
Paul Midgley, trainer of I Am A Dreamer
He's just snuck in at the bottom and has done little wrong this year. He's drawn seven but whether he's on the right side is open to question. He'll like the ground and the team are in good form at the minute.