Opportunity knocks in various guises on travels around Scotland

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I’M in the midst of five days of racing in Scotland – we go the whole way through to Monday with racedays at Ayr and Hamilton Park.

The Western Meeting at Ayr is one at which trainer Richard Fahey traditionally fares well. We’re hoping that this year will be no exception. I’m very hopeful of some good results both today as well as tomorrow when the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is the showpiece race. Indeed, my horse Mayson represents one of my best chances over the three days of the meeting.

The three-year-old has had just one run this year, and finished a very good third in the Great St Wilfred Stakes at Ripon. Of course, the Ayr Gold Cup is a terrifically difficult race to win – I’ve managed one victory to date, on Fonthill Road back in 2006 – but I’m on a very good horse which made his racecourse debut when second at York last year.

Before tomorrow’s major action on the track, I have some decent prospects this afternoon.

I think that my best opportunities are on Trumpet Voluntary (in the nursery race at 2.45pm) and Caledonia Lady (in the Listed South Ayrshire Cup at 4.30pm).

Trumpet Voluntary won on his racecourse debut at Carlisle Races. I chose the wrong horse that day getting a rear view of my colleague Tony Hamilton as my mount from Richard Fahey’s yard Colbyor finished ninth! But I’m on Trumpet Voluntary today.

He was naturally green in Cumbria, but he’ll improve for the experience and he must have a good chance of making it two wins from two runs. If Trumpet Voluntary has a good chance, then a horse with a massive chance is Caledonia Lady.

She ran a superb race when fourth under jockey Hayley Turner in the Group 2 Jaguar Cars Lowther Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival. She was then third in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at the St Leger Festival.

I think she will take all the beating this afternoon when she goes back to Listed race company. She needs to be dropped in, so I will need to get my tactics right. Though she has yet to record a victory as a two-year-old, she has been competing at a high level.

On Saturday, as well as Mayson, I think I have good opportunities across the card.

Miss Work Of Art ran an absolute blinder to finish runner up in the big sales race at the Ebor Festival – the DBS Premier Yearling Stakes. That was the race I won on Wootton Bassett 13 months ago, and I thought I was going to do it again this year.

Her excellent performance at York showed that she was back to something like her best after indifferent runs at Newmarket and Goodwood during July.

She now goes for the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes at 2.45pm at Ayr. She’s a filly that can be a little lazy, but she’s in sparkling form and is working well at home.

Honeymead ran really well to finish second at Carlisle Races for me just a week or so ago. She runs in a handicap at 3.55pm tomorrow, and will have a good chance.

Holy Roman Warrior is another ride I like – in the 1.40pm race. He won his maiden at York two months ago and can be forgiven his run back at Knavesmire during the Ebor Festival, as the ground that day was the quickest he has encountered in his short career. With all the recent rain on the west coast, the ground at Ayr is going to be soft, and this colt will relish that.

n The final fixtures of the 2011 Flat racing season at York Racecourse are on October 7 and 8, the second day featuring the Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes and the Coral Sprint Trophy. Early bird special tickets are on sale – £12 (Grandstand & Paddock) and £22 (County Stand) on Friday and £16 and £26 on Saturday. Further details about online booking at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk or call 01904 620911.