The Ayr Gold Cup meeting is one of my favourite weekends of the year... and this year even more so than usual after winning the Bronze Cup at the track yesterday aboard Music Society.

It’s a bit of a final fling for a lot of the northern-based lads before the action on turf starts to wind down and a number of the horses I am riding there have been lined up for these races for several weeks, or even months.

It can get pretty busy in the town, as everyone is looking for somewhere to stay – a few of the lads, like David Allan, sometimes end up staying in Troon and trying to squeeze in a few holes of golf if they can.

Ayr is a track I like riding at. It’s a very fair course and the prize money at this meeting is good. I’m just hoping the ground doesn’t dry out too much, because there are a few of mine for whom quick ground would be a little bit of a question mark.

In the big race itself, the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, I’m on board Good Effort for Ismail Mohammed and it’s an interesting ride to pick up.

He won quite nicely a couple of starts ago at Newmarket and he was subsequently cannoned into when coming out of the stalls and almost knocked over, so you can put a line through that run.

The Gold Cup is always wide-open and you’ve no idea about the effect of the draw, but I wouldn’t swap him for anything else in the race and having won 'The Bronze', who wouldn't want to try and get 'The Gold' too!

On the subject of the draw, Lahore has got stall 25 right against the stands’ rail in the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup, the consolation race for the big one. By the time the race comes around, we’ll know a little more about whether that’s a great draw or an awful one, but there’s nothing I can do about it either way.

Every time I ride this horse, I learn a little more about him, but he has been progressing all season and a really big run wouldn’t surprise me at all. The horse who just beat him, Bielsa, went off a really hot favourite for the Portland, so they obviously think a bit about him.

I’d love him to win a nice prize for Phil Makin, in his first season as a trainer, and hopefully he’s got a big chance.

Orlaith runs for Iain Jardine in the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes, a race I’ve won before, and this has been the plan ever since she scored at Newbury. It was good to soft then and the quicker ground does ask a different question, but I’ve sat on her again since and she felt in great shape. She is a very talented and progressive filly and Iain’s horses are in decent form.

My other two booked rides on Saturday, Wahoo and Mutamaded, have both been aimed at their respective races ever since I won on them on their latest starts. Hopefully, they have got their chances too.

It was good to ride a couple of winners last Saturday and another at Southwell on Thursday for Rae Guest when Land Of Winter won at Southwell. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back at the track before long and he could go up in trip again to two miles if connections want.

The other one to mention is Gale Force Maya, who was a good second at Pontefract on Thursday. If she comes out of the race well, there is a race at Newmarket next weekend we might look at for her and I think the straight track might suit her.


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