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Summerghand Bids for Consecutive Ayr Gold Cups

Jockey Danny Tudhope believes Summerghand  might be peaking at the right time again before his attempted defense of his Ayr Gold Cup crown Sept. 23.

The David O’Meara-trained 9-year-old defeated Commanche Falls  by a length 12 months ago and he is back for another crack at the £180,000 contest.

No horse has won back-to-back runnings of the Ayr Gold Cup since Heronslea won the 1930 and 1931 runnings, but Tudhope thinks his mount is set to run another big race.

He said: “He always comes well this time of year and is in good form as he’s won and run well in his last few runs. 

“He likes to just take his time and warm up into the race, so you want to let it develop before making a move, and he usually comes home strong if the race is run right.”

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Summerghand has enjoyed a consistent summer, headlined by a victory at York’s Ebor festival last month, when dead-heating with Albasheer .

Tudhope, who has been successful ten times on Summerghand, is pleased with his draw in stall 15 as it is a similar placing to that of his victory 12 months ago.

The rider added: “We were drawn 12 last year, so there’s not much difference. The track may be a wee bit better up middle to the stands’ side, so I think the draw is good. It’s a very fair track and time will tell over the races this week where the best place to be is, but it looks in good condition.”

Summerghand is a general 10-1 chance alongside Significantly , with the Mick Appleby-trained Juan Les Pins  shortening following declarations Sept. 21 to chase 8-1 shot Orazio  in the battle to be favorite. A maximum field of 25 was declared.

The Charlie Hills-trained Orazio, who has been drawn in stall 23, looked highly progressive in the spring and was sent off favorite for both the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood. The 4-year-old finished sixth and 18th on those two occasions, but that has not stopped punters from latching on to him for Ayr.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “Trainer Charlie Hills retains plenty of confidence in Orazio, despite defeats in the Wokingham and Stewards’ Cup, and punters seem to share that loyalty with the 4-year-old set to be sent off favorite for a big six-furlong handicap for the third time this season.”

Summerghand is not the only sprinter bidding for a second Ayr Gold Cup, as 2021 victor Bielsa , who will enter from stall one, has also been declared.

The Mark Walford-trained It Just Takes Time, who is drawn high in stall 24, was the last runner to make the cut, with The Highway Rat , Tabdeed , The Green Man, Pendleton, and Hyperfocus not declared from those who were higher on the entry list.

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