Paddy Power betting expert reckons Muntadab might be the one to beat

Saturday’s feature Ayr Gold Cup (3.50pm) which sees 25 speedsters thundering along Ayr’s six-furlong track might not necessarily jump out as a brilliant betting medium, although au contraire, it is a contest that punters absolutely adore getting their teeth stuck into.

Fozzy Stack’s favourite Son Of Rest (9/2) will cross the Irish Sea with a lot of confidence after his fine second in the top-class Flying Five Stakes at The Curragh last Sunday, but Yorkshire handler Roger Fell’s Muntadab (14/1) might just be a difficult opponent to topple.

Fell may not be a household name to many, but his enthusiasm for this great game has been evident for many years, first as an owner before in 2008 he purchased his current Nawton nerve centre, where he learnt from a number of different trainers before taking over the licence himself.

He landed a Listed race with Caspian Prince in 2016, while his best charge has probably been Burnt Sugar who scooped this season’s Bunbury Cup and International Stakes at Ascot.

But this prize would be the icing on the cake and the selection, despite not getting his head in front this term, has a lot in his favour, particularly as a bit of cut in the ground will be just up his street as his last win at Musselburgh on a soft surface in October would indicate.

That victory came off an official rating of 97 and as he is running off a mark just three pounds higher, that looks more than fair and he’s only been denied by less than two lengths at both Chester and York already this season which would suggest a victory is imminent.

Ayr also hosts the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes (3.15pm) which can go the way of Suffolk sorcerer William Haggas’s Queen Of Bermuda (5/1) after a creditable second last time in a similar level contest at Chantilly.

That reversal came over a furlong less than this weekend’s six furlongs, which looks absolutely ideal as she stayed on like a steam train in France, but was just unable to reach the winner who has franked the form in no uncertain terms with a subsequent success in a higher class at Doncaster.

Soft ground shouldn’t be a concern for the fancy as it was on the easy side when she justified favouritism on her penultimate start at Deauville and if she were to win here, it will surely be a temptation to connections to supplement her for the top-class Cheveley Park Stakes.

As well as four from Ayr, ITV4 also presents four races from Newbury and Shine So Bright could do just that for Kingsclere conjuror Andrew Balding in the race, the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes (2.55pm), that commemorates the trainer’s father Ian’s 1971 Derby hero.

The selection (3/1) has been knocking on the door in this grade, finishing third in both Goodwood’s Richmond Stakes and York’s Gimcrack Stakes, and being by champion sprinter Oasis Dream is bred to be a high-class racehorse at this six-furlong trip.

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