Back G for Gold shocker

Ian Ogg previews Saturday's William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and takes a chance on a pair of 40/1 shots as he takes on Growl.


0.5pt each-way on both G Force and Poyle Vinnie in the Ayr Gold Cup at 40/1

Can you name the shortest priced winner of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup in recent history?

This isn't a pub quiz – I would like to clarify that first – but it is germane to an ante-post preview on Scotland's big sprint.

Coastal Bluff (3/1 in 1996) is the answer while Don't Touch obliged as the 6/1 joint-favourite 12 months ago and there have been none shorter since at least 1979.

The layers then are surely taking the mickey with the 6/1 available about Growl.

Coastal Bluff won the Nunthorpe Stakes the year after his triumph and Don't Touch – although he hasn't reached those heights yet – is a Listed winner and has always been viewed as potentially top class.

Is Growl, the winner of three of his 17 races, in that category? Not a chance.

One horse that could be is Raucous, who has already placed in Group Three company. He may have enjoyed a clearer passage than Growl in the Stewards' Cup and been in receipt of 2lbs (1lb worse off now) when finishing a head in front of him but that was just the ninth run of his career.

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He's disappointed since which may help to explain his price of 18/1 (general 16s) but he was held-up in the Hackwood and at Goodwood so the relevance of his sixth of eight in a Newmarket Listed race where he held a prominent position to Saturday's event may be minimal.

G Force is already a Group One winner and he is well worth a punt at a general 40/1.

The former Haydock Sprint Cup winner may not be the force of old but he did show a good deal more on his latest outing, his fourth for Adrian Keatley.

The performances of Jet Setting have boosted Keatley's presence this season – just his third with a licence – and G Force's third place finish at Navan offers hope that the five-year-old could further advertise his trainer's abilities this Saturday.

The Tamayuz gelding made a promising enough start for the yard but finished last on his next two outings before filling the frame behind The Happy Prince where he was beaten just under three lengths.

The winner only went down by a short-head behind Breton Rock in a Group Two last week, second home In Salutem was a close fifth behind sixth home Ardhoomey in a Group Two at the Curragh on Sunday while the fourth and fifth have run respectably.

The form may need treating with some caution but that is more than factored into his price and there's no doubt that he's very well treated these days having been as high as 118. Around this time last year he finished a close fourth when defending his Sprint Cup crown suggesting that it's far too soon to be writing him off.

Keatley has been a regular visitor to Ayr with 13 winners from 41 runners (32% strike rate) so should know whether the track will suit G Force and he's worth a dabble at the prices.

It's also worth having an interest on Poyle Vinnie at the same price (with bet365 but a general 33/1 chance) in the hope that he makes the cut.

Michael Appleby's six-year-old was beaten half-a-length in last year's renewal from a mark of 103 so this test clearly holds no fears for him. It's getting on for two years since he won a race so it's stretching the point to say that he's back on a winning mark but he will line up from a 4lb lower mark this time around.

He ran one of his best races of the season at Chester last time and it would be no surprise had his campaign been geared around this prize given his bold showing last season.

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