The contrarian word on the weekend action....

Last Updated: 21.09.2018

Friday, 21st September 2018

The contrarian word on the weekend action….

The state of the ground must be the key consideration up at Ayr tomorrow for the Silver Cup and the Gold Cup....

The ground is currently on the heavy side of soft on the straight track both 6f events will be contested on....

No flat horse is bred to excel on that kind of surface. But some handle it better than others....

Some don’t handle it at all. The horses that need decent ground to be at their best are not going to get what they want tomorrow afternoon....

  • Primed for the job....

The Gold Cup at 3.50 is the feature of the two events. As it stands right now, a maximum field of 25 horses will go to post. No doubt one or two will pull out ahead of the start. Connections of horses that absolutely need a decent surface probably won’t roll the dice....

The one horse that has excelled on a heavy surface, Irish raider Son Of Rest, has been well-found by the market. But there are others lurking lower in the betting that will find conditions to their liking....

Kevin Ryan’s TERUNTUM STAR has the seasonal profile of a horse that has been saved for an autumn campaign....

He’s raced just once since June. That was in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last month. He was fancied on the day, backed into 8s but finished last of the 20 runners beaten some 35-lengths....

You can look at that run on paper and conclude that the horse isn’t firing. But there were excuses....

He stumbled as he left the stalls and his chance had gone before the field had negotiated the first furlong. And once his chance had gone, he wasn’t knocked about....

The Ayr sprints were mentioned as a target for the horse last term. That didn’t happen because the meeting was abandoned. Instead, he pitched up at York in October where he won a nice handicap off a mark of 98....

He races off 99 tomorrow. He’s certainly not handicapped out of this. He’s taken well to soft ground in the past and if things fall right for him tomorrow he can run a big race. The 20s with bet365 and the general 18s is a fair....

  • Two-against-the-filed in the Gold Cup....

The other one I want to be with is the top-weight PERFECT PASTURE at 20s with William Hill and 16s generally....

He’s rated 108 but a three-figure rating is no bar in this race and, whilst he might be 8-years-old now, when he gets soft-ground – the key to him – he is better than ever. And he can run a better race tomorrow than the prices suggest....

The last 4 times he’s had going containing the word soft, he’s produced form figures of 1121. Whatever factors he must overcome to get competitive tomorrow, the ground won’t be one of them. It’s a big advantage for him....

He’s another one who looks like he’s been held back and laid out for this race. He won a Listed event on the opening day of the season at Doncaster. Since then he’s raced just once at Chester....

He got well-beaten there. But Chester has never been his track and the ground would have been lively enough for him....

If nothing else, the race would have served to blow a cobweb or two away. And with the ground as it is at Ayr, I’d be very surprised if the horse fails to bounce back from that performance tomorrow....

  • Each-way at a price in the Silver Cup....

In the Silver Cup at 2.40, Jedd O’Keefe’s SHARED EQUITY makes each-way appeal at this morning’s 25s with Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power (20s generally)....

He’s another horse who needs it on the soft side to produce his most competitive efforts – as he showed at Doncaster when placing on soft off 92 in March and again when winning over 7f at Epsom on soft in June off 93....

After that Epsom race the Gold Cup was mentioned as a potential target for him. He hasn’t made it into that race, but he can give a good account of himself in this with the ground having turned in his favour....

Since Epsom, he’s run twice and been beaten. But the first of those races was a debut on the AW and the second involved a trip to Ireland....

The bottom line is that since he had his wind tinkered with last summer, he’s produced both times when racing on soft. Off 95 tomorrow, he is weighted to go well again on the type of surface he will handle a lot better than plenty of his rivals....

I’m not concerned about the step back to 6f. The track will ride longer than 6f tomorrow owing to the ground. He will be fine.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Gold Cup (3.50 @ Ayr).

In the Silver Cup (2.40 @ Ayr).

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for now.

I’ll be back in your inbox a little later today with ATC Extra....

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing....

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd