Updated: November 2019

The 2018 Ayr Gold Cup

14 January 2019

The 2018 Ayr Gold Cup Meeting

The 2018 Ayr Gold Cup meeting (run this year on Saturday 22nd September 2018) held in the Autumn every year is one of the most eagerly anticipated meetings of the year in Scotland. Not only does it showcase Scottish racing at it’s very best but provides fans with three of the biggest sprint handicaps held throughout the season.

The Ayr Gold Cup run over 6 furlongs has been one of the stepping stones to sprinting stardom with many winners going on to clain Group race glory after winning this prestigious handicap.

Originally there was just the Gold Cup for the very best sprinters, but in recent years we have seen the introduction of two consolation races.

The Bronze Cup which is run on the Friday of the meeting and the Silver Cup which is run alongside the Gold Cup on the Saturday. These races always attract big fields and this year is no exception with 25 runners due to line up in each of these races.

History of the Ayr Gold Cup

The race was established way back in 1804, and was originally held at Ayr’s former racecourse at Belleisle. The race used to be closed to horses outside of Scotland and strangely it was a long distance race with horses competing over two miles.

At first it was a stakes race but in 1855 was changed to its current format of a handicap and since then has gradually reduced in distance going from 2 miles to 1 mile in 1870 and then to its current format of 6 furlongs in 1908.

The race is known for producing top class sprinters and the heaviest weight carried to victory was the Scottish trained Roman Warrior in 1975 who carried 10st and was trained at Ayr by Mr Nigel Angus, is the most recent winner trained in Scotland.

The field for the Ayr Gold Cup is formed from the highest weighted horses entered for the race. The maximum number of runners is currently twenty-five. Those eliminated are now offered the chance to compete in the Ayr Silver Cup, a consolation race introduced in 1992. An event for horses excluded from that race, the Ayr Bronze Cup, was established in 2009.

Effect of the Draw

At this time of year the track at Ayr can get very soft and it looks from the forecast that the same will be the case for the 2018 Ayr Gold Cup renewal. So looking at the draw is a great tactic. With the Bronze Cup taking place on Friday it offers a great chance to see where the best ground is and you can then use this information to place any bets on the Silver Cup and Gold cup on Saturday.

In 2016 and 2017 we saw horses drawn low to middle perform best in the Gold Cup and Silver Cup and this is always worth looking out for.

Ayr Gold Cup Stats and Analysis

– There has only been one winning favourite in the last 20 years
– 8 out of the last 10 winners have carried 9 stone or more
– Trainer Kevin Ryan has won 4 of the last 10 renewals
– 12 out of the last 15 winners have been between 10/1 and 20/1

If you were betting on the above stats then let’s analyse the field and cut it down to a shortlist of horses

Kevin Ryan’s Terentum Star 16/1 (Drawn 18) has shown all it’s best form on a softer surface which the horse will get here. Is then last horse to fall within the weight scale as mentioned above and is priced at 16/1

The last two runnings have been won by a horse carrying 9st 10lbs and the only runner with that weight is Perfect Pastime 20/1 (Drawn 24) who is another who has shown it’s best form on a softer surface.

George Bowen 20/1 (Drawn 5) has solid form in this race, has been running very well of late and although soft is not ideal, has been placed on this type of ground.

Main selection for the 2018 Ayr Gold Cup is…….

Major Jumbo from the Kevin Ryan stable is a fair EW price at 16/1 (Ladbrokes and William Hill) and has not finished out of the first 4 in it’s last 8 races. Has a great draw in stall 9. Has a very promising 5 lb claimer on board and has peformed well on soft ground in the past.

Enjoy the racing this weekend.