Burn The Boats can strike for Ireland in Ayr Gold Cup
The big betting race of the day is the Ayr Gold Cup (3.50), and Irish raider Burn The Boats looks decent value in a typically fierce and wide open contest.
Trained by Ger Lyons, the gelding showed his effectiveness in big fields when landing a competitive 30-runner 6f contest at the Curragh last June.
Burn The Boats showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders before staying on strongly to beat Whozthecat by 3/4 of a length, and it was an effort which suggested the son of Big Bad Bob would be capable of bagging another big pot.
The five-year-old was then not at his best in his next five starts before getting back on the winning trail when landing a mile handicap at Navan in July.
Burn The Boats was then far from disgraced when finishing seventh of 21 to Sretaw in another mile conest at the Curragh when not getting the best of runs and beaten just 2 1/2 lengths, and although not at his best in a 7f contest at Lapordstown last week wa not knocked about and is a very interesting contender now dropped back to 6f.
It is a trip which Burn The Boats remains relatively unexposed having raced over it just five times, and the strong pace which is almost guaranteed in this contest will suit and bring his stamina into play.
Another plus is that looks to be plenty of pace among those drawn low, so from stall three Burn The Boats should get a nice tow into the contest before hopefully being produced late on the scene if all goes to plan.
The other horse to make my shortlist is Mass Rally.
The Michael Dods’ trained gelding is a smart sort who is ideally suited by big fields and a strong pace to aim at.
The seven-year-old won the Silver Cup over course and distance in 2012 and is just 2lb higher than when registering his last success at York back in October.
Mass Rally has since performed with great credit in Group company, with those runs including a decent sixth of 14 to Slade Power in a Group 2 contest at Ascot and a cracking fourth of 13 to Maarek in the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes.
The son of Kheleyf also shaped as if coming back to form on his penultimate start when given a very tender ride and running on late to finish a 2 1/2 length ninth of 15 to Blaine at York, and a line can safely be put through Mass Rally’s latest run in a Listed contest at York as he lost all chnace at the start when his rider was late removing the hood.