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It's Ladies Day today (Friday) at Ayr Racecourse on the second day of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival.
The three feature contests are the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes, Listed Race, the Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes, Listed Race and the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup.
The Harry Rosebery is always a keenly contested five furlong sprint for two year olds and Richard Fahey saddles two in this – Dylan de Vega, the mount of Tony Hamilton, and the highly rated Show Me Show Me due to be ridden by Paddy Mathers.
The Al Maktoum Cup is a particularly strong renewal with no fewer than 20 runners including the Irish raider Woody Creek from the Fozzy Stack yard with Chris Hayes riding. This three year old was second in a Group 3 at the Curragh on her last outing and that form should be good enough to win here.
The William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup, the first of the three big six furlong sprints has a really strong look to it and trainer Jim Goldie who has won this in the past with the likes of Geojimali and Jack Dexter saddles course specialist Tommy G with Danny Tudhope taking the ride.
A classy performance from three year-old filly Encapsulation earned her star billing on Doonside Cup Day at Ayr Racecourse, the opening day of the three day William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival.
Trained by Andrew Balding she was unraced as a two year-old and this was only her sixth racecourse start and jockey Ben Curtis had her handily placed throughout.
The filly made headway to lead inside the final furlong and one at odds of 9-2 from the 15-8 Keith Dalgleish trained What’s The Story.
The winning jockey said afterwards : “I phoned Oisin Murphy who rode her last time out and he said she needed cover. It went to plan she’s a really nice filly.”
There was a double for the trainer-jockey combination of Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan who scored on Eva Maria, 9-4 fav, in the 1m 2f Scottish Premier Series Fillies’ Handicap and with Militia, 7-1, in the 5f Brandinghub Signs & Print Ayrshire Handicap Stakes.
Richard Fahey said afterwards :”I was thinking of going home tonight after my horses hadn’t been running well earlier on in the day but I’ll be staying now.”
Brando Contiguo, 6-1 co favourite, came with a sustained late run inside the final furlong to win the Western House Hnadicap over a mile by a head from Ascot Week.
The opening race a mile novice stakes was won impressively by the evens favourite Morisco for trainer Tom Dascombe and jockey Richard Kingscote. This looks a very promising colt.
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