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Ayr best bets: Highwaygrey to turn tables on Berry Edge, Ayr Poet can wax lyrical at favourite track

Ayr racecourse offers us some highly competitive Flat racing to enjoy on Monday afternoon, and none more so than this intriguing 10-furlong handicap.

15:30 Ayr: Book for the Ayr Gold Cup Handicap  (1 mile 2 furlongs)

The withdrawal of early market leader Braes Of Doune, who failed to land the odds here on Sunday, has left Tilsitt as the somewhat tentative favourite just ahead of Volcanology and We Still Believe, while the only last-time out winner in the line-up is Berry Edge.

Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Racing Vicar finishes in the first 3 places, get a £5 Free Bet

David Thompson’s six-year-old recovered from a sluggish start to work his way through a 13-runner field to land a Class 5 handicap over nine furlongs on good-to-soft ground at Carlisle four weeks ago.

The willing gelding looks capable of building on that performance, but it is the horse that finished just half a length adrift in second that day who has piqued our interest.

Highwaygrey was a course-distance winner here two summers ago, and while he has gone five winless outings since rounding off last season with a tidy win over this distance on Newcastle’s all-weather track, three promising performances preceded that close-up second behind Berry Edge.

Suggested best bet: Highwaygrey each-way in the 15:30 at Ayr

A line can be put through his sixth-of-eight finish 12 days ago at Carlisle, where he was allowed to run too freely, and he generally looked out of sorts over an inadequate one-mile trip.

Significantly, Berry Edge is nudged up three pounds from their last meeting, while Highwaygrey’s mark remains unchanged, so with the five-pound allowance of capable claimer Amie Waugh factored in, Tim Easterby’s eight-year-old is effectively eight pounds better off against that rival, and is racing in lower Class 6 company. 


Of the others, the collective eye of Tipstrr’s each-way specialists has been drawn towards perennial course specialist Ayr Poet, who is making his 30th appearance at the Ayr track, having won on five of his previous visits, with 14 frame finishes to boot.

His most recent near miss was a runner-up effort over this very trip five weeks ago, since when he found 13 furlongs too much of an ask a fortnight later, while he was clearly out  of his depth in the 0-85 Cumberland Plate at Carlisle last time out 12 days ago.

All of his rivals that day were rated 7-18 pounds higher than any he will face in this lower-class 0-65 line-up, while the seven-pound claim of Lauren Young effectively drops his mark even lower.

Whether those factors can prove decisive under such an inexperienced jockey remains to be seen, but it would be unwise to discount jim Goldie's wily old campaigner on his happiest of happy hunting grounds.

Each-way punt: Ayr Poet in the 15:30 at Ayr


READ MORE: Ripon racing tips: Best bets for Monday July 8

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