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Ayr And Newbury Saturday Review: Dramatic Finish To Ayr Gold Cup

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Since becoming a handicap back in 1855 the Ayr Gold Cup, sponsored by William Hill, has produced plenty of dramatic finishes over the years but few to match that of Saturday’s renewal which was finally declared a dead-heat between 5-1 favourite Son Of Rest and 28-1 outsider Baron Bolt. Connections of the two sprinters had to endure an agonising wait of almost seven minutes before judge Di Clark decided it was impossible to split the pair, the first time in the race’s history, and a result which winning jockeys Chris Hayes and Cameron Noble were more than happy to accept.

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Available at 20-1 earlier in the week Son Of Rest became the first Irish-trained winner of Scotland’s premier Flat race for trainer Fozzy Stack, although his rider Chris Hayes feared the worst passing the post, saying: “ I thought I was beat so it’s nice to get half of it. I was a flared nostril away from getting my P45. He’s an out-and-out hold up horse and as I got there a furlong out I said to myself it was too soon, but he kept going.” Baron Bolt’s jockey, apprentice Cameron Noble, was not only having his first ride for Paul Cole but also his first at Ayr, a visit he is unlikely to forget for a very long time.

Down at rain-soaked Newbury the two feature races were the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes and the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes. The former went to the Frankie Dettori-ridden Kessar who was supplying trainer John Gosden with his first victory in the race named in honour of the great champion of the early 1970’s. The son of Kodiac is likely to head to France next for the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, while another possibility exists in Italy with the Group 2 Gran Criterium.

The finish of the day came in the Legacy Cup with only half a length separating the first three home. The verdict went to Young Rascal who had not been seen since finishing seventh in the Derby when sent off the 7-1 third favourite. William Haggas’s Intello colt could head to France next for a Group 2 1m 7f contest on Arc weekend providing the ground comes up soft.

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