Saturday sees the return of the Ayr Gold Cup and trainer Richard Fahey is bidding to land it for the second year running as he saddles favourite Growl. Last year he won the race with.
<p>Saturday sees the return of the Ayr Gold Cup and trainer Richard Fahey is bidding to land it for the second year running as he saddles favourite Growl. Last year he won the race with favourite Don’t Touch, and once more his is the classiest looking horse in the field, but danger lurks everywhere and a case could easily be made for any of the runners, setting up a mouth-watering clash.</p><p>The three-day William Hill Ayr Gold Cup festival is one of the highlights of the calendar in Scotland, and it culminates in the Gold Cup itself, with the Silver Cup and Bronze Cup also taking place on Saturday. The 6f Gold Cup is the big one, however, and comes with a £180,000 prize pot, so it is very competitive indeed.</p><p>Growl deserves to be favourite as he comes into the race on a rich vein of form. He always had great potential and Fahey looks to finally be getting it out of him after he posted wins at wins at Nottingham and Windsor in June, and then finished fourth in both the Bunbury and Stewards’ Cups, looking unlucky not to finish higher in the latter. That is impressive form and he is rightly getting all the hype in the buildup to the race.</p><p>However, his price has drifted into 11/2 and it is hard to justify backing the favourite at such odds, despite Fahey’s win last year. Don’t Touch was unbeaten and was a far more formidable sprinter. Growl is good, but not as good, and that can open the door for any of the 20+ horses competing in this race.</p><p>You might be better off looking for an each way option at longer odds, and there are plenty of great contenders. Terentum Star, a 16/1 shot, has plenty of experience for a four-year-old and all his wins have come on soft ground. He struggles when the going is quick, but this could play into his hands as rain is forecast over Ayr and it might get sloppy.</p><p>Another option would be Watchable, whose trainer David O’Meara won this race in 2014 with Louis the Pious. The 25/1 on offer for him is a great price and looks interesting after he placed in a competitive Group 2 race in Germany last month.</p><p>G Force has been backed all the way in from 40/1 to just 14/1 so punters clearly feel they are onto something with him. This five-year-old has not won in two years, but he is a former Group 1 winner, having taken the Haydock Sprint Cup, and he has the pedigree to make a nuisance of himself here. If you fancy him, you might want to get in quick, as the odds are shortening.</p><p>South of the border, the Dubai Duty Free festival will also reach its climax on Saturday, and the big race of the day looks to be the Dubai Duty Free Handicap, where Autocratic heads the betting at <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4834&book=Paddypower">6/1 with Paddy Power</a>. He is in with a great shout, but again it is a competitive field and those odds are a little on the short side. A better option might be Imperial Aviator (8/1), who beat Autocratic back in the spring, but will be worse off on the handicap this time around.</p><p>Or there is always Baydar (10/1), who comes into the race on the back of a three-race winning run and has the ability to run Autocratic close. Both of those might make a good each way bet, or for a longer shot you could try Lord Ben Stack (<a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4810&book=Bet365">14/1 with Bet365</a>). He won comfortably in a Group 3 race at Haydock recently and looked as though he still had more to give, and could relish the step up in class here.</p>