Past Winners » Huntsmans Close


The evidence of the first couple of days of the Ayr Western Meeting is that tight against the stands rail is the place to be on the sprint track. While that is not certain to be the case again today, I would much rather side with a horse drawn high or middle than low.

Huntsmans Close has the perfect draw, 27 of 27, in the Silver Cup, and he looks to have a lot in his favour today. We had him on side at Doncaster last week when he ran well behind the progressive pair Badr Al Badoor and Danzeno.

A couple of things about that race though. Firstly, the six-and-a-half-furlong trip was probably a bit far for him. This fast six furlongs should be ideal. Secondly he was squeezed out between the first pair when they came to challenge on either side of him and his jockey had to snatch him up. He may not have won, he may not have even finished better than he did in third, but he did run on again after he recovered his equilibrium to retain third place. Also, he was racing from 4lb out of the handicap there, he can race off his old mark today, 4lb lower, even though he has been raised 2lb since that run last week.

He won on his seasonal debut, his first run for Roger Charlton, and he has been shaping well ever since. He ran a cracker in the Stewards Cup consolation race at Goodwood when, had he enjoyed better luck in-running, he might have gone very close. On other occasions, either the ground or the draw or the lack of pace has been against him. All of that is in place today and he should have a major chance if he can make the most of his draw and he doesn’t get crowded on the rail.