It’s been a vintage year for the Kevin Ryan yard thanks to the dual Group 1 successes of the Grey Gatsby and he should harbour high hopes of landing the Ayr Gold Cup for the fourth time in the last eight years.
The Hambleton handler has a rock-solid three-horse delegation travelling over the border for this year’s renewal, including 2012 winner Captain Ramius (20/1) and Group 3 scorer Hamza (16/1).
However 14/1 Blaine, the mount of his daughter Amy, looks the pick of the trio, with the colt’s latest York win working out very nicely indeed.
The four-year-old son of Avonbridge short-headed Made In Time in the 5½f Class 2 Symphony Group Stakes, with B Fifty Two, Robot Boy, Bogart and Line Of Reason third, fourth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Of those vanquished foes the bronze-medallist was the only one to score next time out, doing so by just under four lengths having been hit with a 2lb rise.
However, the second filled the same position in a Longchamp Group 3 in his following assignment, while the fourth also achieved an identical rank at that level on the Curragh one race later.
Blaine’s stablemate Bogart was second to a colt described by the Racing Post as “a Group 1 horse in the making” over 5½f in Doncaster’s Portland Handicap on her next run.
Even Line Of Reason, way down in seventh behind Ryan’s Ayr hopeful, was a head behind Mirza, the subsequent Longchamp conqueror of Made in Time in the Listed Beverly Bullet on his next run.
A Gimcrack winner as a two-year-old, Blaine endured a Classic season to forget, with his regular partner Ryan junior suggesting “last year he wasn´t himself but he has come back to himself this year” in the wake of his victory over 6f at Hamilton in Class 2 handicap action back in July.
Still a flighty sort as his stalls-spooked no show in the Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood showed, he nonetheless ranks a horse with considerable scope for improvement at Ayr.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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