It’s the biggest day of the Flat season in Scotland tomorrow as Ayr Racecourse stages the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.
In fact the gold, silver and bronzes races are all being run tomorrow – and I like the draws I have got in each of the races.
Overnight rain put paid to the opening day of the meeting yesterday and this afternoon’s card was subject to an early inspection at 6.30am.
If racing goes ahead today then the two horses I ride – Church Music (4pm) and Fine Altomis (5.10pm) – would have each-way chances. They both have form on testing going and the ground is going to be critical in all the races.
Church Music hasn’t run for a while and his sole victory was on his debut at York 15 months ago, but he’s now off a decent mark. Fine Altomis has enjoyed a couple of victories this season and is a consistent sort.
After racing, I’ll stay in Scotland overnight and get ready for the major races on Saturday.
We’re underway at 1.45pm with the Bronze Cup. Amenable is my mount from stall 21.
My preference is to be on either rail at Ayr, so the only place you don’t want to be is in the middle. There are 27 in the three Cup races, so stall 21 is fine.
Amenable won last time at Hamilton Park and his trainer Dandy Nicholls certainly knows how to prepare horses for the Western Meeting.
Later on it’s the Silver Cup and the heavy conditions will suit my horse Mass Rally. He’s drawn 20, so that’s good.
His runner-up spot in the Symphony Group Stakes during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival certainly shows he’s a horse with ability.
His only wins have been on all-weather surfaces, but he has raced well on soft going this season.
Eight go to post in the Group 3 fillies’ race at 2.50pm, and my horse Melody Of Love wouldn’t be without a chance.
She’s in good form and, once again, she’s a filly that will show her best form in these ground conditions. Trainer Ann Duffield’s two-year-old has done nothing wrong to date, especially on her last two runs in August when she won and was second at Ripon.
At 3.30pm, it’s the showpiece of the Flat season in Scotland – the Ayr Gold Cup.
I like my draw again. This time it is stall 6 for Louis The Pious for North Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan.
His wins were last summer, but since finishing mid-division of the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot he’s been coming back to form and his last two runs under jockey Graham Lee were encouraging.
As long as Bonnie Lesley behaves herself – she mucked about at the stalls at Doncaster last time – then she could run a decent race at 4.05pm.
Trained by Keith Dalgleish in Lanarkshire, her last race was when she was fourth in the Betfred The Bonus King Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival last month. She had previously won for me at both Ayr and Hamilton Park. With a career record of two victories from six outings, I am hoping that she does consent to go into the stalls because she does have ability.
There are only a few more weeks to go in the Flat season and I am pleased to be currently in the top 10 jockeys on the turf. It looks as if it will be hearty congratulations to Richard Hughes, who is poised to claim his first jockeys’ championship.
Ever since Ryan Moore was injured, he has been odds-on favourite and he will deserve the title.
The final two days of the Flat racing season at York Racecourse are Friday 12 and Saturday 13 October.
The races include the Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes and the Coral Sprint Trophy. New for 2012 is Countryside Raceday on the Friday with a showcase of rural activity and products.
Admission on Friday is £5, £13 or £24; on Saturday it’s £6, £17 or £28. Early bird and group discounts are available booked in advance.
Accompanied under 16s are admitted free of charge to all areas.
More information and advance bookings at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk or by calling the racecourse on 01904 620911.