6f Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+)
Orazio has been touted as the proverbial “Group horse in a handicap” all season having been sent off as favourite for the Wokingham (ground too fast) and for the Stewards’ Cup (ground too bottomless) in his last two starts. His connections will argue that he has had excuses and I can see his price tumbling into very short odds as we approach the off. But this race has historically not had many winners drawn on the rails – he is drawn 23 – and I’m yet to be convinced that he’s as good as the market has suggested.
The winner of this race has always come into this off-the-back of strong form and arguably one horse that has run himself back into excellent form is SIGNIFICANTLY. Rated off a mark of 105 at his peak as a three-year-old, Significantly has been coaxed back to form by his new trainer Julie Camacho and comes into this off a mark of just 94.
Having won on good ground at Haydock earlier this season, Significantly has since run some huge races in defeat, on each of his last few starts including 6th in the Stewards’ Cup, and 2nd last week in the Portland Handicap.
Significantly put in arguably his best run of the season on soft ground last weekend when going down by a short head to the 106-rated Annaf, who finished 3rd in the Group 1 Kings Stand earlier in the season. Significantly comes into this 2lbs well-in as a result, and has a plumb draw in stall 14 from which to make his normally frontrunning challenge. He shouldn’t be far away.
Aleezdancer, Probe and of course the evergreen Summerghand all come into contention. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Rohaan bounce back to form with a big run.
But the other horse on an upward trajectory having his first start over 6f this campaign is the three-year-old, RAMAZAN, for Richard Fahey.
I’m not one to normally back three-year-olds in a sprint handicap, but Ramazan has already had 12 starts in his career and put in a career best last time out when defeating older horses over an easy 7f at Chepstow. Whilst his progress up the handicap has generally come at 7f/1m this season, he’s bred from a fast sprinting family and his trainer is convinced he can handle this sort of trip. The manner of Ramazan’s victory last time out would offer plenty of encouragement that he can win over 6f in a fastly run race on rain-softened ground. A look at his juvenile form and in particular his final two-year-old race in the Goffs Million at The Curragh last season also looks classy form, finishing close to rivals all rated well above him now.
Ramazon may have a lot more to offer above his mark of 101 and he is taken to run well in a race that should suit this progressive improver.
1pt win Significantly @9/1, 1pt win Ramazan @14/1, 15:35 Ayr, SaturdayLeave a comment