Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa is the namesake for the Ayr Gold Cup favourite

A horse called ‘Bielsa’ is tipped to win the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday after being named by a Leeds United fan.

A horse called Bielsa will compete with 24 other thoroughbreds to win the Ayr Gold Cup in Ayrshire, Scotland on Saturday afternoon.

The 3.40pm contest is the headline event of the three day Ayr Gold Cup festival, with the prize pot for the six-furlong flat race standing at £77,000.

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At six furlongs long, the Gold Cup race takes between 60 and 80 seconds to complete as the horses cover 1.2km of flat course.

Bielsa is the favourite for the handicap event, in which better horses are weighted accordingly in order to level the playing field. Bookmakers are offering odds of 12/1 that the 6-year-old thoroughbred, named after the Argentinian coach, will place first.

With his choice of name Whites fan Steven Parkin, the man who bred Bielsa, honoured the manager who ended Leeds United’s 16-year exile from the Premier League.

Bielsa has since been sold to King Power Racing, which is owned by Leicester City chairman Top Srivaddhanaprabha and so Kevin Stott, the jockey hoping to ride Bielsa to Gold Cup victory, will don a jersey resembling the Foxes’ blue strip.

Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

Stott has already found success at this week’s festival with Ventura Rascal, who placed first in the 3.00pm race on Thursday afternoon.

Bielsa’s trainer, Kevin Ryan, hails from Thirsk and has trained four Ayr Gold Cup winning horses since 2007, when his first winner, Advanced, came in first at 20/1.

Meanwhile, 2-year-old Ayling, a horse trained by fellow North-Yorkshireman Adrian Paul Keatley, placed 10th in the 1.35pm nursery race on Friday afternoon.

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Marcelo Bielsa coached Leeds United to the Championship title in 2020. Pic: Getty
Horses compete for the Ayr Gold Cup. Pic: Getty
The Ayr Gold Cup. Pic: Getty