Ayr preview: Ayr Gold Cup (15.45)
Trainer Kevin Ryan has an excellent record in the Ayr Gold Cup (15.45), and Blaine can take advantage of a drop in the weights to provide with another success in this year’s renewal of the 6f contest.
The North Yorkshire handler has won the race three times in the last eight years, and in Blaine has a gelding that has been given a massive chance by the handicapper.
Blaine came good at this time off the year last season, landing a 20-runner contest at Doncaster by a short-head off a mark of 100 before finishing a cracking third of 27 to Louis The Pious in this contest off 104.
The five-year-old didn’t get the best of starts in the latter, but stayed on strongly from off the pace to be closing at the finish and beaten three lengths.
Given how the race panned out it was a big run, and Blaine is now able to race off 6lb lower.
His current rating of 98 means he is also now 2lb lower than when last victorious, and that gives Blaine major claims from a handicapping perspective.
Although Blaine has failed to make the frame in six starts this season, the son of Avonbridge hinted at a return to form last time out at York when staying on under tender handling after a slow start to finish an eye-catching 10th of 20 to Tanzeel.
If building on that Blaine is weighted to run a huge race, and he looks to have been trained all season with this race in mind.
Don’t Touch has a progressive profile and rates a big danger.
The Richard Fahey trained gelding is unbeaten in four starts and landed the Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon in the last of those.
Don’t Touch came with a storming late rattle to get up and score by a head, and it was a terrific performance for one so inexperienced.
The three-year-old clearly has a huge engine, and a further 5lb rise in the weights could well be on the lenient side given that the son of Dutch Art remains open to stacks more improvement and is clearly on a serious upward curve.
Coral’s top tip: Blaine looks cracking value in a typically wide open renewal of the Ayr Gold Cup. Don’t Touch is also a big player.