Ayr gold cup
Andy Newton asseses Scotland’s big sprint challenge
This year we’ve a new sponsor of the Ayr Gold Cup as up-and-coming sportsbook - Virgin Bet - are taking over the marketing reins of this competitive 6f handicap, that will be run this year on Saturday 18th September.
First run in 1804, the Ayr Gold Cup has a deep history and is one of the biggest racing days on the calendar at the Scottish track. It’s always well contested, with a maximum of 27 runners so it’s no surprise it’s also a race the bookmakers love.
In recent years - since 1980 - we’ve only seen four winning favourites land the first prize, but with three of those market leaders coming in the last six runnings, then maybe the tide is beginning to turn on this trend.
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 Haggastrained 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 yearolds.
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
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)
Note: The 2017 running was staged at Haydock
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
15/20 – Had won over 6f before
15/20 – Failed to win their last race 13/20 – Finished in the top 4 last time 13/20 – Rated 90-101
13/20 – Carried 9-1 or more
13/20 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
13/20 – Came from 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 deadheat