Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup
|Heritage Handicap, Ayr 15:40
6f, Class 2
Bielsa ploughs a lone furrow up the stands rail to win the @VirginBet Ayr Gold Cup Handicap by a distance for @StottKevin and @kevinryanracing 🏆@ayrracecoursepic.twitter.com/tugBiJfJEy https://t.co/UwHZmFnGBC via @RacingBetter— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) September 19, 2021
Commanche Falls, winner of the Stewards Cup at Goodwood for the second year in succession, is among the 237 entries for the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday September 17.
The Michael Dods trained five-year-old was seventh in the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup last year and is a previous course and distance winner. The second and third in the Goodwood race Tabdeed and Regional are also entered.
With £150,000 in prizemoney on offer, the Class 2 Heritage Handicap has attracted one of its highest ever number of entries with more than 30 horses holding a BHA rating of 100 or above.
Kevin Ryan, who has won the race five times with Bielsa (2021), Brando (2016), Captain Ramius (2012), Our Jonathan (2011) and Advanced (2007), has no fewer than 11 entries including the aforementioned Bielsa and the eight-year-old Justanotherbottle.
Great Ambassador, from the Ed Walker yard, was second in the race last year and looks to be heading back to Ayr next month. Meanwhile Tim Easterby’s Snash, winner of the first ever running of the Ayr Gold Cup Trial last month, is also entered.
Another highly rated sprinter with an entry is Fresh, trained by James Fanshawe, who won the International Stakes at Ascot 17 days ago.
The highest rated 25 horses declared on Thursday September 15 at 10.00am will run in the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday September 17 with the next 25 taking part in the £60,000 Virgin Bet Ayr Silver Cup, also on the Saturday, and the next raft of 25 horses competing for the Virgin Bet Ayr Bronze Cup, with £30,000 in the prize pot, on Friday September 16.
The weights for the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup will be published on Wednesday August 17.
In addition to the feature race, Virgin Bet will sponsor eight other key races during the festival. As with last year, this includes Saturday’s Ayr Silver Cup, the Doonside Cup Listed Race, and the Firth of Clyde Stakes (Scotland’s only Group One race). Virgin Bet will also continue sponsorship of Thursday’s Kilkerran Cup and the Ayr Bronze Cup on Friday.
Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup
£75,000 added, 3yo plus, 6f, Class 2