It seems difficult to believe that a Scottish-trained horse has failed to win the Ayr Gold Cup since 1975.
And this winless streak is set to continue in 2015, with it proving difficult to make too much of a case for either Jack Dexter or Sound Advice landing the spoils, with top weight not great news for the former and the latter in the grip of the handicapper and unlikely to be suited by this first try at 6f.
Of the non-Scottish contingent, Don’t Touch is the clear favourite and he remains open to any amount of improvement after winning all of his four racecourse starts to date.
He has been hiked another 5lb for a marginal victory at Ripon last time, but Richard Fahey’s three-year-old does look the type to do the minimum required to triumph and a career beyond handicap company beckons.
Therefore, Don’t Touch should be good enough to take this off a mark of 101, especially with the quicker gallop in comparison to Ripon last time expected to play to his strengths.
However, at 6/1 in a 25-runner field, he is ignored in favour of another runner that will relish the more end-to-end pace that the Ayr Gold Cup will provide.
Three starts ago Toofi was finishing second off a mark of 98 by less than a length to Magical Memory in the Stewards’ Cup, despite not being completely suited by the undulations at Goodwood.
The winner that day has since run credibly off a 6lb higher mark to frank the form, while Toofi has been raised just 4lb.
Roger Varian’s sprinter’s first appearance off 102 came in a Listed contest at York where he seemingly didn’t get home in the higher grade over 7f.
The four-year-old was then sent off favourite in a Doncaster handicap when the slow early pace failed to play to his fast-finishing strengths and he could only nab second.
Toofi retains the same mark in the Ayr Gold Cup and 14/1 looks decent each-way value that he can run into a top-four spot, assuming jockey Adam Kirby, on board for the first time, doesn’t give himself too much to do.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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