herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

up in the ayr

It's bit like being left with the last of the turkey soup or the coffee-flavoured roses at Christmas isn't it...

Last week, we had Group One races coming at us from every angle but this weekend is slightly lacking the same profile. However, the Ayr Gold Cup is still a fairly prestigious race and there is plenty of Irish interest.

Two Irish-trained runners will face the starter in the 27-runner field, with Ger Lyons sending over Burn The Boats, who will be ridden by Colin Keane, and Billy Lee will also be over to ride the Andy Slattery-trained An Saighdiur.

Keane is suspended in Ireland, but, as there is no Flat racing over here, he is able to take part.

Pat Smullen will take a break from his quest to claim his seventh Irish Flat Champion Jockey's title, and breaking the 100 mark for the first time in Ireland, when he teams up with Irish Champion Stakes-winning trainer Kevin Ryan (pictured) on Hamza in the same race, while Fergal Lynch and Declan McDonogh have also been booked by Ryan to ride Captain Ramius and York Glory respectively, with Fran Berry going over to ride the Rae Guest-trained Minalisa.

However, with all the Group Ones in Ireland, England and France last weekend, it's a wonder that one couldn't be saved up for the coming couple of days, but there's still plenty up for grabs, not forgetting the last day of the Listowel Harvest Festival also.

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