Akehurst wants six to defect for Marsad

The fuel shortage is threatening the racing programme. Officials at Ayr yesterday warned the crisis could ruin the course's three-day Western Meeting which starts tomorrow. Ayr is in more difficulty than many other courses due to its geographical position. All the main training centres are a minimum of 200 miles from the course on the west coast of Scotland.

The fuel shortage is threatening the racing programme. Officials at Ayr yesterday warned the crisis could ruin the course's three-day Western Meeting which starts tomorrow. Ayr is in more difficulty than many other courses due to its geographical position. All the main training centres are a minimum of 200 miles from the course on the west coast of Scotland.

However, the Epsom trainer Jon Akehurst, who has Marsad and Passion For Life in the Ayr Gold Cup, is confident his horses will make the journey. Akehurst is hoping for six withdrawals from the Gold Cup to allow his Marsad to run in the six-furlong handicap, which has a maximum field of 29, on Saturday. Conditions are ideal for Marsad, who needs soft ground. Marsad and Passion For Life will run in the consolation race, the Silver Cup, if they are eliminated from the Gold Cup, but the chances of them getting into the main event look good. Compton Banker, winner of the Portland at Doncaster last week, is doubtful because of the ground. Akehurst said: "We've had the Ayr Gold Cup in mind for Marsad all season and it would be extremely disappointing if he didn't make it. We've desperately been trying to get him qualified."

Rae Guest runs Roseum. He said: "This has been the target all along. We've been waiting for the autumn because she needs soft ground. She has a fair handicap mark and I'm delighted Michael Roberts rides."

Ho Leng misses the race at his local track in favour of a trip to Newbury for the Dubai Duty Free Cup. Linda Perratt, his trainer, will instead be represented by Shatin Venture. Perratt said: "He's in good shape and will appreciate the ground."

British trainers are responsible for eight of the 16 acceptors for Saturday's Irish St Leger at the Curragh. Godolphin have declared Mutafaweq and Sagamix; James Fanshawe has confirmed Arctic Owl a runner, while Richard Hannon has left in Churlish Charm. Sir Michael Stoute has declared Little Rock, but David Elsworth said it was "60-40 against" Persian Punch running. John Dunlop wants rain for Orchestra Stall, but Mark Johnston runs Yavana's Pace. Luke Comer has supplemented Chimes At Midnight at a cost of IR£21,875. Media Puzzle is one of two possibles for Dermot Weld along with Hirapour, John Oxx has entered Katiykha and Mouramara and Aidan O'Brien has Rostropovich, Lermontov and Chiang Mai in the race. O'Brien dominates Sunday's National Stakes with 11 of the 16 entries. The only British acceptor is Mark Johnston's Down To The Woods. The going at the Curragh is Good (Good to Firm on the round course) with rain forecast.

Katy Nowaitee goes for the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket a fortnight on Saturday after working well yesterday. She is 12-1 favourite for the nine-furlong handicap with Stanley. Katy Nowaitee has not run since winning the Spring Mile at Doncaster in March. Peter Harris, her trainer, said: "She had a throat infection. George Duffield will ride and I don't think her odds are unrealistic."

Courting, who is retiring to stud, ended her career by winning the John Musker Stakes at Yarmouth yesterday. William Haggas's filly had Moselle, her better-fancied stable-companion, back in third in Yarmouth's richest race. Haggas said: "Moselle never got a run and goes for the Sun Chariot Stakes."

Geoff Lake, a conditional jockey, was taken to North Tees General Hospital after being injured in a fall at Sedgefield. Tiger Talk, his mount, jumped to the right at the second last flight of hurdles, unseating Lake. His foot got caught in a stirrup and, as he fell, he pulled the gelding on top of him. The fallen horse and rider were then cannoned into by another horse.

Racing at Beverley only goes ahead today after the course guaranteed to provide the local ambulance service with fuel. Bouchra (5.05) and Mr Stylish (5.40), both well drawn over the dog-leg five furlongs, may be beneficiaries. Interesting runners at Yarmouth are Nasmatt (3.40), a half-sister to Bint Allayl, and Lycian (5.15), who escapes a penalty for winning an apprentice handicap at Leicester last week. And at Sandown, Time Away (2.45) no match for Karasta on her Newmarket debut, has an easier task.

AYR GOLD CUP (Ayr, Saturday) : Coral: 6-1 Pepperdine, Tayseer, 8-1 Compton Banker, 14-1 Marsad, 16-1 others. William Hill: 7-1 Pepperdine, Tayseer, 10-1 Compton Banker, 12-1 Marsad, 14-1 Night Flight, 16-1 others. Ladbrokes: 7-1 Pepperdine, Tayseer, 10-1 Compton Banker, 14-1 Marsad, 16-1 others.

IRISH ST LEGER (Curragh, Saturday) : Cashmans: 3-1 Arctic Owl, 5-1 Mutafaweq, 11-2 Yavana's Pace, 7-1 Little Rock, Katiykha, Chimes At Midnight, 8-1 Churlish Charm, 10-1 Media Puzzle, 14-1 others.

Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit