Unfortunately, ante-post selection Khanjar failed to make much of an impact in the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday. William Haggas' three year old raced handily early on but the alarm bells began to ring with a couple of furlongs to run. Once under pressure, Jim Crowley's mount faded out of contention. Perhaps such a test came too soon in his career but he remains a horse for the future.
Despite that disappointment, it was an enjoyable afternoon on the West coast of Scotland. Summerghand produced another terrific performance to provide David O'Meara with his second victory in the Ayr Gold Cup. A former Stewards Cup winner, the eight year old has 15 races during his career and is a standing dish in the big six furlongs handicaps with his trademark turn of foot - it was the fourth time he had contested the race. The form of the inaugural running of the Sky Bet Constantine Handicap at York's Ebor Festival couldn't have worked out much better - Summerghand beating Commanche Falls. In addition to some excellent racing, it was good to catch up with a few trainers including Michael Dods, John Quinn and Kevin Ryan.
Roger Varian had a trio of runners on the card and all three won with Royal Champion producing a particularly good performance in the Listed Doonside Cup. Once touted as a possible French Derby contender, the lightly raced four year old streaked clear inside the final furlong to win by five and a half lengths. Indeed, it proved to be a red letter day for the Newmarket based handler with 7 winners from 12 runners during the afternoon. Varian has now sent out 20 winners from 63 runners (32%) during September.
The late Michael Jarvis' assistant was also on the mark at his local track with Top 40 entry Al Husn (9/2) taking the fillies' handicap over a mile on the Rowley Mile. The daughter of Dubawi is unbeaten in two starts in 2022 and was returning from an absence of 152 days. Raised four pounds for her win at Kempton in the spring, she stayed on strongly to win by a length and a quarter off a mark of 86. She is a progressive filly who may have a tilt at a Pattern race during the Autumn.
Just a reminder, the next batch of copies of One Jump Ahead will be posted to clients on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. If you haven't ordered a copy, please head to the Publications section of the site. Similarly, there is still time to order the Autumn Update which will be emailed to subscribers on Thursday (22nd September) pm.
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