Don’t Touch handed stall eight for Ayr Gold Cup bid

Ante-post favourite Don’t Touch will race from stall eight when he bids to stretch his 100% record to five in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday.

The three-year-old, trained by Richard Fahey, was one of the last horses out of the hat at the draw ceremony shown live on Racing UK.

Fahey, who took this prestigious sprint handicap in 2006 with Fonthill Road, is also represented by Heaven’s Guest and Rene Mathis, who were given stalls 15 and 11 respectively.

Kevin Ryan is triple-handed as he goes for a fourth success in the showpiece at Scotland’s Western meeting. He has Blaine (stall 21), who was third 12 months ago, Glory Awaits (18) and Lexington Abbey (seven), who just made the cut in a maximum 25-runner field.

The first name to be drawn out was Highland Colori. Winner in 2013, Andrew Balding’s charge will start from stall 19. Buckstay, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, was second out and was put next door in stall 20. Scottish hopes rest with Jim Goldie’s top-weight Jack Dexter (13), who was third two years ago, and Sound Advice (22) from Keith Dalgleish’s stable.

Hoof It, who bounced back to form with victory at Doncaster on Saturday, was guaranteed a run thanks a 5lb penalty for that success. He was given the last stall (one) remaining as there was no representative for trainer Mick Easterby at the draw held at Ayr racecourse.

Ryan explained why he chose to pick a high number when given the chance.

“I was always going to go high whichever one came out first,” the North Yorkshire handler told Racing UK.

“When Glory Awaits came out I put him high. He’s a pace horse and luckily enough Blaine came out soon afterwards. In an Ayr Gold Cup you need to be where the pace is.

“It’s been a very changeable forecast. The weather is beautiful up here and the track looks in great condition.

“I think there may be a little rain on Saturday, but I don’t think that will harm the ground.”

“The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup can be won from low, middle or high, but the hot stall in recent years has been stall 19, with the last two winners and a second in the past three runnings. Maybe that bodes well for 2013 winner Highland Colori,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.


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