Ayr preview: Russian Realm can rule for in-form O’Meara
Russian Realm was a massive eye-catcher on his seasonal reappearance, and can take advantage of a drop in class to land the 1m feature handicap on today’s eight-race card at Ayr (17.10).
The gelding was a dual winner last season when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, and in the last of those successes easily landed a class 2 contest at Goodwood by 2 1/2 lengths.
Russian Realm went on to round of the year with a highly creditable eighth of 27 to Bronze Angel in an ultra-competitive class 2 contest at Ascot, before joining trainer David O’Meara for the start of this campaign.
The son of Dansili was sent off a well-backed 12/1 shot for the valuable class 2 Victoria Cup at Ascot on his first start for the in-form Yorkshire handler, and ran far better than his final finishing position suggests.
After being held-up in rear by jockey Richard Hughes, Russian Realm made smooth headway travelling strongly two from home before weakening and being allowed to come home in his own time to finish 14th of 12 to Speculative Bid.
It was an effort full of promise after 203 days on the sidelines, and Russian Realm looks sure to come on a bundle for the run.
The five-year-old also now drops down into class 3 company off an unchanged mark of 95, and this represents the easiest task he has faced for over a year and a golden opportunity for Russian Realm to get back in the winners’ enclosure.
It’s All A Game is back down below his last winning mark and looks to have plenty going for him in the 7f handicap that closes proceedings (17.45) now reunited with jockey Connor Beasley.
The Richard Guest trained gelding was a four-time winner last year, with his last success on the turf coming over a mile at Newcastle where he bolted up by 3 1/4 lengths off a mark of 57.
It’s All A Game backed went on to finish a solid third off 63, and and is now able to race in this off just 55.
That gives the four-year-old every chance from a handicapping perspective, and it’s interesting that Beasley is now back in the saddle for the first time in 16 starts.
He has partnered It’s All A Game to his last two turf successes, and his booking suggests that connections mean business and a big run is expected.
13.50: Rogues’ Gallery
14.20: Red Forever
14.50: Native Falls
15.25: Miss Burnett
16.00: Magnolia Ridge
17.10: Russian Realm (NAP)
17.45: It’s All A Game (NB)