Will Shanghai Glory beat the bookmaker’s odds at Ayr?
The recent news that Mattmu has been withdrawn from Saturday’s Ayr Gold Cup with a joint sprain means
that betting fans have one less serious contender to contemplate. The five year old bay stormed to victory
in the Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon in August, beating Shanghai Glory into third place, and punters
had been looking forward to a rematch at Ayr.
Charlie Hills’ Shanghai Glory is now the clear favourite, having been slowly but steadily hitting top form
over recent weeks. But victory is by no means a foregone conclusion, in what is invariably a compelling
meeting where anything could happen.
All about Ayr
The Ayr Gold Cup is one of the most historic races in the UK calendar, and coming as it does towards the
end of the flat racing season, is always one of the most eagerly anticipated. Originally established in 1804,
it was initially open only to horses that had been bred and trained in Scotland. The Scottish trained winner
was Roman Warrior, a horse trained at Cree Lodge right across the road from the racecourse. The event is
forever memorialised by the Roman Warrior restaurant in the Princess Royal Stand.
Last year’s event saw Kevin Ryan’s 11/1 shot Brando narrowly beat the 4/1 favourite Growl into second
Latest betting odds
Brando’s victory in 2016 continued a remarkable trend that is sure to have betting enthusiasts and professional
gamblers eyeing the form sheets even more closely than usual this weekend. This is the unusual statistic that
the favourite has only won the event once in the past 20 years. Ayr is fast becoming a venue where gamblers
can expect the unexpected, so it pays to study the best horse racing odds with an open mind over the coming
All the top sites have Shanghai Glory quoted as favourite, with latest odds ranging from 8/1 to 10/1. But given
that Ayr is one of those meetings where the bookmakers often come unstuck where else might you wager your
A memorable win at Goodward last month has got plenty of people in the paddock talking about this John
Gosden trained tryer from the Emerald Isle. He put in a storming start last year, before running into trouble
a furlong and a half out, and finally coming in eighth. This year, he is older and wiser, not to mention in great
form. 14/1 looks like tempting odds.
Richard Fahey will have a strong contingent of runners at Ayr, but none are rated higher than this five year
old from the Godolphin stable that came so close to causing an upset at York last month, losing by a neck to
Talaayeb. Bookies are currently quoting 14/1.
Could last year’s favourite come back and win it as an outsider? The form guide suggests not, but at Ayr,
anything is possible, a fact that the bookmakers clearly recognise with the relatively short odds of 16/1 that
are currently available.
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