Turf Topics - Daniel Tudhope: Seeking Acclaim in Ayr Gold Cup

YP columnist Daniel Tudhope.

YP columnist Daniel Tudhope.

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The horses of York’s reigning champion trainer, David O’Meara, are in stunning form at the moment.

Not only did I partner winners at Leopardstown and at Longchamp but there was also a big race victory in Canada.

The Nawton yard has won the Betfred Strensall Stakes at York’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival for the past two years and it was those thoroughbreds that provided two legs of the remarkable treble.

The 2014 winner on Knavesmire, Custom Cut, kicked off proceedings when winning at Leopardstown on Saturday evening in the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes supported by Clipper Logistics.

A day later and some 3,250 miles away in Toronto, the 2015 York winner, Mondialiste, provided the yard with a first victory in continental North America as Fergal Lynch partnered him into first place in the Group 1 Woodbine Mile.

I picked up my second Pattern race win of the weekend when Move in Time won his Group 3 prep race in Paris on Sunday, ahead of a scheduled defence of the Prix de l’Abbaye next month.

He was second in the same trial contest 12 months ago, so it bodes well for the Group 1 sprint on the same turf.

Those were great days, and I’m hoping for another good one tomorrow on the third and concluding day of the Ayr Gold Cup Festival in the west of Scotland.

Ahead of that, I would highlight two of my rides this afternoon, Fatherly Friend in the 1.30pm maiden and Miss Mullberry in the South Ayrshire Cup at 3.40pm.

The two-year-old colt has yet to win in two outings but the yard thinks a lot of him and he could have a chance. The filly has come into form and won her last race at Thirsk.

On to tomorrow and I have a splendid book of rides. Eccleston has a great chance in the consolation race, the Ayr Silver Cup at 2.35pm. He’s bang in form and has been since the fitting of a visor. Like Miss Mullberry, he won on his last run, which was at Thirsk and has a good draw.

Highland Acclaim is one of two O’Meara horses going for the Ayr Gold Cup at 3.45pm.

Both he and stable-mate Algar Lad, ridden by Sam James, are past winners at York. My mount ran a very good race last month when runner-up in the Symphony Group Stakes at the Ebor Festival and is in good form. Algar Lad has a similar profile and would have a decent chance as well.

Two For Two loves Ayr. He has two wins at the track and aims to make it three in the 4.20pm. I would say he’s on a par with Eccleston in terms of which horses offer me the best opportunity of a winner tomorrow.

Steel Train wouldn’t be without a shout either. He goes for the 4.55pm handicap race.

I really am hoping to be crossing the border back into England tomorrow evening with at least one winner to my name.

With the yard doing so well we will relish the final meeting of the season at York next month on October 9-10, with the highlight on the second day being the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy.

Visitors will be able to see whether O’Meara can close out his third consecutive trainers’ title on Knavesmire. Find out more on York’s Countryside Day and Coral Sprint Trophy Day at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.

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