Banker no certainty for Ayr Gold Cup

Gerard Butler yesterday warned punters to hold fire on backing the leading fancy Compton Banker in Saturday's £100,000 Ayr Gold Cup. The impressive winner of the Portland Handicap at Doncaster last week, yesterday drifted out to 10-1 second favourite with the sponsors, Ladbrokes, for the Ayr contest, having been 7-1 in the morning.

Gerard Butler yesterday warned punters to hold fire on backing the leading fancy Compton Banker in Saturday's £100,000 Ayr Gold Cup. The impressive winner of the Portland Handicap at Doncaster last week, yesterday drifted out to 10-1 second favourite with the sponsors, Ladbrokes, for the Ayr contest, having been 7-1 in the morning.

A spokesperson for the stable said: "If the ground at Ayr is anywhere near soft, as it is at the moment, Compton Banker won't run. Gerard is leaning towards the Diadem Stakes at Ascot anyway."

Indian Spark heads the 118 horses declared at yesterday's five-day stage for the six-furlong contest. A maximum field of 29 will go to post, with the horses eliminated at Thursday's final declaration stage eligible for the Silver Cup on Saturday's card.

Ladbrokes' 7-1 joint-favourites Tayseer and Pepperdine are among six David Nicholls hopefuls in the top 29. The trainer also has Further Outlook, Cryhavoc, Al Muallim and Royal Result in the race. Richard Hughes will renew his partnership with the Stewards' Cup winner, Tayseer.

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