Joseph O’Brien_Horse Racing

Doyle’s Delight At Ayr – Weekend Review

It’s a jockey who grabs the weekend headlines this week, courtesy of James Doyle who rode a memorable treble at Ayr on Saturday, including victories in both the Silver and Gold Cups.

James Doyle
Doyle’s display at Ayr further demonstrated his progression in the saddle, and punters looking for him to carry on the winning run may not have to wait long as he is booked to ride in each of the eight races at Kempton on Monday afternoon.

Doyle has now ridden a total of 14 winners in the last fortnight alone

, and should his hot steak continue, then he could be worth siding with throughout this week, including at the big meeting at Newmarket which gets underway on Thursday.

Another “pilot” to make headlines at the weekend with an eye on Newmarket is Air Pilot, who impressed in winning a valuable handicap at Newbury on Saturday – an event often a good pointer for Saturday’s first leg of the Autumn Double that is the Cambridgeshire.

Having not been seen since Derby day at Epsom in June, Ralph Beckett’s 4yo bolted up by over 3l to record a performance that saw him rocket into becoming the new 9/1 favourite for the Cambridgeshire. It could be worth holding stakes back at this stage, though, as he needs to make the cut, while any rain would increase his chances. But, even if Air Pilot misses the race, he could be an early candidate for the November Handicap at Doncaster on the final of the season.

On the subject of Newmarket, Hugo Palmer’s, New Providence, was supplemented for Friday’s Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at HQ – which is also being shown live by Channel 4 – having won a second Group 3 earlier in the month. The fact she was supplemented at the weekend could be a tip in itself, and she could represent value on Friday against some of the more “fashionable’ trainers.

Looking further ahead at Newmarket, Karl Burke’s juvenile, Toocoolforschool, could also be supplemented for the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes next month having shown big improvement to win a Group 2 at Newbury last Saturday. Considering this was his first run on soft ground, he could surprise some of the big guns if it comes up soft next month.

Another in fine fettle for the autumn is Mecca’s Angel, who made it a second Pattern victory 10 days. Having won a Listed event, this filly stepped up to land a Group 3 at Newbury, and the fact she loves soft ground suggests she could land a big sprint before the season’s end, such is the rate at which she is improving.

As for other runners to look out for in the coming weeks, then it could be worth looking back at Ayr for clues, as the draw bias favouring double-figure stalls in sprints could throw up some interesting future bets.

In Friday’s 24-runner Bronze Cup, where Bajan Bear was the first home from the low numbers when ninth, while on the same day, Red Baron was third from stall 4 in the 20-runner 5f sprint (first two drawn 14 and 16). As for the Silver Cup, then Mission Approved led home the far side from stall 8 (first five were 27-26-25-18-22), while in the Gold Cup, Minalisa ran a screamer from stall 2 (four of the first five home were 10-26-24-25). Keep track of all four of the aforementioned sprinters.