Trainers Jim Goldie and Keith Dalgleish lead the home challenge today in a bid to saddle the first Scottish-trained winner of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup since Roman Warrior way back in 1975.
Goldie and Dalgleish try to put that right when they send out Jack Dexter and Sound Advice respectively.
Roman Warrior carried top weight of 10st to victory 40 years ago and Jack Dexter will have to give weight to all his rivals in his attempt to improve on his third place in 2013.
Goldie makes no bones of the task facing his smart six-year-old, but is hopeful of another good run.
“He has top weight in a very competitive handicap. It’s tough ask, but we’ve trained him for the race. We could have done with a bit more rain,” he said.
“The one that obviously we are worried about would be the unbeaten Richard Fahey horse (Don’t Touch). He’s probably a Group horse and we have to give him weight.”
Sound Advice has never run over a distance as short as six furlongs, but goes into the race on the back of two wins over Chester’s seven and a half furlongs.
“He’s in good form at home. I’m just hoping the trip won’t be too sharp for him,” said Dalgleish.
Don’t Touch has won all his four races to date, but is only a three-year-old and did not make his racecourse debut until May. The Dutch Art gelding has done everything asked him and, after winning three average races, duly stepped up to the plate to land the Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon last month.
Connections have had to be patient but are being rewarded now and Fahey believes he could have a potential Group performer on his hands, perhaps similar to Utmost Respect who won the Silver Cup in 2007 before going on to Pattern-race success.
“Don’t Touch had a little issue with a knee last year and we didn’t rush him,” Ricard Fahey said. “Everything has gone to plan and this was always in my mind.
“He could be another Utmost Respect, he might not just have as much natural speed and you’ll know your fate in the first three furlongs with how he’s travelling.
“I’d like to think Don’t Touch is a Group horse in the making, but I’m slightly worried that might be over seven furlongs.”
Fahey is also represented by experienced campaigners Heaven’s Guest and Rene Mathis.
Fahey said: “Heaven’s Guest has been a legend and he generally picks up the pieces once or twice a year, he’s been fourth in it twice.
“Rene Mathis might not be quick enough on this ground.”
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