Toofi focus on striking Ayr Gold

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RICHARD hannon’s Whatdoiwantthatfor has held her own against the better juvenile fillies all year and is fancied to collect Group Three honours in the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr today.

Since chasing home subsequent Lowther heroine Besharah on her Windsor introduction at the beginning of June, Hannon’s daughter of Kodiac has not looked back, breaking through at Leicester before following up back at Windsor.

She added to her tally in the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes in testing conditions at Newbury, which is sandwiched by a couple of excellent performances at this level.

Once again taking on Besharah in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, Whatdoiwantthatfor finished third, slightly further behind William Haggas’s filly than she was on debut, but only half-a-length adrift of stable companion Great Page, who has since picked up a Group Three in France.

Most recently, she bumped into a top-class prospect in the shape of La Rioja in the Dick Poole at Salisbury but was comfortably clear of re-opposing third Unilit, and better is expected of her again on a sounder surface.

She takes on some solid rivals, with Lady Clair fourth in the Lowther – beaten further by Besharah than Whatdodiwantthatfor has been – while once-raced winners Mustique and Priceless fall into the ‘could be anything’ bracket, but her form stands up to the closest scrutiny and another big performance seems assured.

The highlight of the entire Scottish Flat season is the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and the application of a visor on Toofi can work the oracle.

A promising juvenile and early-season three-year-old, his career stood still until a cracking Stewards’ Cup display which saw him beat all bar Magical Memory, who has proven himself at the highest level.

The Roger Varian-trained gelding was last seen chasing home fellow Gold Cup contender Hoof It at Doncaster’s Leger meeting and a stronger-run race, combined with a 1lb swing in the weights, can see him gain revenge, with the headgear another source of potential improvement.

The Silver Cup, along with yesterday’s Bronze Cup, provides consolation for those who missed the cut for the main event, and gives An Saighdiur another opportunity to strut his stuff.

The Irish raider was a close-up seventh in the Gold Cup 12 months ago, but finished third in this race in both 2012 and 2013 off marks of 94 and 96, and competes off 95 now.

He finished in mid-division at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend, but struck at the same venue before that and trainer Andrew Slattery is anticipating improvement. “He seems to have come out of the Curragh well.

“He missed a lot of work from his win as he scoped badly. I had to get a run into him before Ayr. I wouldn’t read too much into last Sunday’s run. He has been scoping badly all year, but he seems back to his best. He would be a serious contender if it rains. The more rain the better, it will put lengths into him.”

Richard Fahey always targets this fixture and has been in the winner’s enclosure there already this week, but the Musley Bank trainer has a major chance of glory on Newbury’s classy card.

Ribchester might retain his maiden status, but belied odds of 25-1 to fill the runner-up berth in the Gimcrack last month.

That prompted Godolphin to snap him up and he carries their silks for the first time in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes. He has the measure of Raucous on York evidence and has more scope for improvement than Norfolk second and Flying Childers third Log Out Island.