Ayr Gold Cup Tips

Mid-September each year sees the Scottish track of Ayr stage one of its major races of the season. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers surrounding the Ayr Gold Cup and provide our betting tips for the race.

This 6f Class 2 Handicap was first run at the Ayr track of Belleisle in 1804 and now offers £200,000 in total prize money, making it one of Europe’s most valuable flat handicap contests.

Ayr Gold Cup Tips and Betting Offers, 3:50, 21st September 2019

The Ayr Gold Cup is one of the jewels in the crown of Scottish racing. This 6 furlong race carries a prize fund of £200,000 and so is always seriously over subscribed. We have another full strength field of 25 horses competing in the 2019 renewal but where does the betting value lie?

Gulliver Can Maximise a Good Draw

The Ayr Gold Cup is up there with the biggest betting heats of the flat racing season. As such, punters pour through any stats and trends they can find in the hope of profiling a winner. There are any number of important trends to take advantage of but the most impactful by some distance is the draw.

Generally speaking, higher draws are favoured but that is not a rule that’s set in stone. It all depends on where the pace is in individual renewals. In this year’s race, it looks as though there’s plenty of pace around Gulliver who is drawn in stall eight and David O’Meara’s five-year-old appears well placed to take advantage

Gulliver is a hardy competitor who is well versed in competing against this sort of big field handicap. He has had a long and challenging season with many starts but didn’t look overly tired last time out when finishing third in the Bold Lad Sprint Handicap last time out at the Curragh.

There wasn’t too much between Gulliver and the winner of that race at the Curragh, Buffer Zone who is also the favourite to win the Ayr Gold Cup. Off a mark of 98 and with a generous 8st 12lb to carry, Gulliver is primed to make the most of the luck he had with the draw to win at 8/1 with Coral.

Take a Punt on Hey Jonesy

Hey Jonesy is another who has come out of the draw well. Indeed, the four-year-old was drawn alongside Gulliver in stall eight which produced the winner in both 2015 and 2016. Whether Hey Jonesy is quite of the quality of Don’t Touch This and Brando remains to be seen as he’s still working his way up to his best but he must represent good each way value at 25/1 with bet365.

Hey Jonesy is still finding his feet in this sort of big field handicap but he has plenty of experience of tough run races having run against Group level opposition many times. If he isn’t spooked by facing 24 competitors and doesn’t get in any trouble in running, Hey Jonesy can utilise his class to grab a place at a big price.

Betting Predictions

Hey Jonesy is one of a number of horses who will tempt a lot of punters for an each way bet. He will need a certain amount of luck and there’s a real danger of him getting boxed in but if he avoids those potential pitfalls he should be in contention at 25/1 with bet365. However, it’s Gulliver’s extra hardiness and experience that makes him the most likely winner at 8/1 with Coral.

Ayr Gold Cup Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Baron Bolt – jockey Cameron Noble, trainer Paul Cole // Son of Rest – jockey Chris Hayes, trainer Fozzy Stack (Dead heat)
  • 2017 – Donjuan Triumphant – jockey PJ McDonald, trainer Andrew Balding
  • 2016 – Brando – jockey Tom Eaves, trainer Kevin Ryan
  • 2015 – Don’t Touch – jockey Tony Hamilton, trainer Richard Fahey
  • 2014 – Louis The Pious – jockey James Doyle, trainer David O’Meara
  • 2013 – Highland Colori – jockey Oisin Murphy, trainer Andrew Balding
  • 2012 – Captain Ramius – jockey Pat Smullen, trainer Kevin Ryan
  • 2011 – Our Jonathan – jockey Francis Norton, trainer Kevin Ryan
  • 2010 –Redford – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer David Nicholls
  • 2009 – Jimmy Styles – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Clive Cox
  • 2008 – Regal Parade – jockey William Carson. Jr. , trainer David Nicholls
  • 2007 – Advanced – jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer Kevin Ryan
  • 2006 – Fonthill Road – jockey Paul Hanagan, trainer Richard Fahey

Ayr Gold Cup History

Now well over two hundred years old, the modern version of this event bears little resemblance to the two mile contest which first took place at Belleisle in 1804. In those days the race was something of a local affair, with only runners trained and bred in Scotland permitted to take part. The event first became a handicap in 1855, but its present 6f distance was not introduced until 1908 when it switched to the new rack at Ayr for the first time.

Offering good prize money for a Class 2 affair, this sprint contest has only grown in popularity over the years. With the field restricted to 27 runners, there are now not one, but two, consolation races on offer. The Ayr Silver Cup takes place on the same Saturday card as the big race, whilst the Ayr Bronze Cup is run on the preceding Friday.

As fiercely competitive as this handicap is, there are still a dozen runners who have twice claimed the Gold Cup for their connections. Only one runner has landed the prize three times though, Dazzle, who rattled off three wins in succession between 1889 and 1891.

The full details of a number of the early winners here seem to have been lost to the annals of time. It does however seem unlikely that any trainer will have matched the exploits of Tom Dawson who achieved a spectacular run of success here between the years of 1835 and 1869, winning the race 15 times in all.

William Noble was the man up top for four of those Dawson wins, equalling the record set by Tom Nicholson. As of 2016 no other jockey had won this race on four occasions.