Pepper favourite to land pot in Ayr dash
Tuesday 13 September 2011
Those at the top of the class have this weekend off, and that will include the elite sprint division's most recent recruit. Hoof It carried top weight to victory in the Stewards' Cup, but after his close third in the Haydock Sprint Cup showed he could mix it with the best he will not be asked to repeat his Goodwood feat in another of the season's most fiercely fought handicaps, the Ayr Gold Cup.
The Mick Easterby-trained four-year-old, who had topped most bookmakers' lists, was not among yesterday's declarations for Scotland's most valuable Flat race. His place as favourite has been taken by Pepper Lane, 10-1 with the six-furlong dash sponsors William Hill.
The filly, set to carry 9st 4lb on Saturday, is trained by the upwardly mobile, Yorkshire-based David O'Meara and is on a four-timer, with the Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon last month the latest success in her own progressive career.
"She's fine," said former jump jockey O'Meara, in only his second season as a trainer, "and the plan is to run. I don't know yet who'll ride her, but it will be Danny Tudhope or Silvestre de Sousa." Both men have won on the daughter of Exceed And Excel this season.
At this stage there are 202 horses left in the £120,000 Ayr Gold Cup, which has a safety limit of 27, though the names at the top of the list who miss the cut can contest the consolation Silver Cup earlier on the same card. Other defectors yesterday who had been prominent in the betting for the main event include Tiddliwinks, Dafeef, Desert Law and the 2009 winner, Jimmy Styles.
French trainer Alain de Royer-Dupré, who won two of Sunday's three trials for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with Sarafina, the big-race favourite, and Reliable Man, yesterday reported both his Chantilly stable stars to have taken their Longchamp exertions in their elegant strides.
"Sarafina was not very fit," he said, "and should improve a lot, which is normal for her when she has a race after a break. Reliable Man is now stronger than he was at the beginning of the season and if he makes further progress he could be very competitive."
Punters agree with the last sentiment; Reliable Man is the one who has caught their imagination, now down to 7-1 in most lists.
* Chris McGrath's Nap
Gramercy (4.40 Yarmouth)
Fresher than most at this time of year and has been impressing at home.
* Next best
Rogue Reporter (3.20 Folkestone)
* One to watch
Chester on Friday was not enough of a stamina test for Chilly Filly (Brian Ellison), but she remains well-handicapped.
* Where the money's going
Colonel Mak is 12-1 from 16-1 with Ladbrokes for Saturday's Ayr Gold Cup.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...