THE betting market for next week’s William Hill Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse was thrown wide open on Monday when connections of favourite Gordon Lord Byron said the horse would bypass Europe’s largest sprint handicap.
The Irish trained horse was 10/1 at the time and after the announcement sponsors William Hill installed four 14/1 joint favourites – Van Ellis, Prodigality, Duke of Firenze and the Jim Goldie trained Hawkeyethenoo. The market is so tight that 26 horses are priced between 14s and 20s.
Its been 37 years since a Scottish trained horse last won the race but in addition to the much vaunted Hawkeyethenoo, Cheviot (20/1) from the Ian Semple yard is in with a chance having won a decent handicap at Haydock at the weekend.
All eyes will be on Hawkeyethenoo with jockey Graham Lee attempting to add a William Hill Ayr Gold Cup to a Scottish Grand National win something no other jockey has yet achieved.
Cheviot on the other hand has been lightly raced this season and Ian Semple will have his charge spot on for the big day.
For the first time this year the three big sprints – the William Hill Ayr Gold, Silver and Bronze Cups are run on the same day – Saturday September 22 and with the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay will be attending on Friday the three day meeting is certain to draw huge crowds.