The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup (3.50) is the main attraction today, and, somewhat unusually, good ground is anticipated as this contest is generally run on a soft surface. SUMMERGHAND and MAJOR JUMBO are two which make big appeal this time.
The heavy ground in this race last year was all against Summerghand and the much better underfoot conditions this time will be much more to his liking. David O'Meara's runner has been busy this summer, so he should be freshened up nicely by a break of just a month. He has certainly earned his keep with some consistently good efforts this season, with his Stewards Cup fourth at Glorious Goodwood and Wokingham fifth at Royal Ascot stand out efforts.
David Nolan is in the plate today as Danny Tudhope opts for stablemate Arecibo who has good form at this track and must be respected. That was surely a tough call for Tudhope as both runners have strong claims. But Nolan's mount Summerghand is a model of consistency who will love the ground. He will be well suited by the undoubted fast pace up front, will finish with a flourish and looks sure to go mighty close.
Major Jumbo simply cannot be let run unbacked at the current generous odds available. He has been competing at the top level, in pattern races and indeed at times has mixed it in Group 1 and 2 company. This is a big drop in class and he can put them all in trouble by piling on the pressure from the front.
Kevin Ryan's team have struck a rich vein of form in recent weeks and Major Jumbo mopped up in a Listed race at Chester on his second last outing. He was in at the deep end in the Betfair Sprint at Haydock where the soft ground didn't suit. He finished seventh to Hello Youmzain and what makes that particularly interesting is that Fairyland - another who would have preferred nicer ground - finished just one place ahead of him. And she certainly advertised the form in style when taking the Group 1 Flying Five at The Curragh last Sunday.
Laugh A Minute and Gunmetal - who both have their moments - are tried in first time blinkers, while Gulliver, Mr Lupton and penalised Curragh scorer Buffer Zone are clearly leading contenders. But Summerghand and Major Jumbo are the duo to concentrate on.
1/2 Point Each Way Major Jumbo (16/1 Paddy Power paying 7 places)
1/2 Point Each Way Summerghand (10/1 William Hill & Skybet both paying 7 places)
Compare Odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing