herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

Effort worth a try for gold

I'll be walking on Ayr if I land a big prize at one of my favourite tracks

SILVER LINING: I’d love to win on Lahore for Phil Makin
SILVER LINING: I’d love to win on Lahore for Phil Makin

The Ayr Gold Cup meeting is one of my favourite weekends of the year. It's a bit of a final fling for a lot of the northern-based lads before the action on turf starts to wind down and a number of the horses I am riding there have been lined up for these races for several weeks, or even months.

Ayr is a track I like riding at. It's a very fair course and the prize money at this meeting is good. I'm just hoping the ground doesn't dry out too much, because there are a few of mine for whom quick ground would be a little bit of a question-mark.

In the big race itself, the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, I'm on board GOOD EFFORT (3.50, Ayr) for Ismail Mohammed and it's an interesting ride to pick up.

He won quite nicely a couple of starts ago at Newmarket and he was subsequently cannoned into when coming out of the stalls and almost knocked over, so you can put a line through that run.

The Gold Cup is always wide-open and you've no idea about the effect of the draw, but I wouldn't swap him for anything else in the race.

On the subject of the draw, LAHORE (2.40, Ayr) has got stall 25 right against the stands' rail in the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup, the consolation race for the big one. By the time the race comes around, we'll know a little more about whether that's a great draw or an awful one, but there's nothing I can do about it either way!

Every time I ride this horse, I learn a little more about him, but he has been progressing all season and a really big run wouldn't surprise me at all. The horse who just beat him, Bielsa, went off a really hot favourite for the Portland, so they obviously think a bit about him.

I'd love him to win a nice prize for Phil Makin in his first season as a trainer, and hopefully he's got a big chance.

ORLAITH (3.15, Ayr) runs for Iain Jardine in the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes, a race I've won before, and this has been the plan ever since she scored at Newbury. It was good to soft then and the quicker ground does ask a different question, but I've sat on her again since and she felt in great shape. She is a very talented and progressive filly and Iain's horses are in decent form.

My other two booked rides today, WAHOO (4.55, AYR) and MUTAMADED (5.30, AYR), have both been aimed at their respective races ever since I won on them on their latest starts. Hopefully, they have got their chances too.

÷ Paul is sponsored by Racing TV, which is offering a Day Pass for just €5 (normally €10) this month. For more, visit: https://www.racingtv.com/daypass

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