Beggars belief: owners hoping 'dream horse' Glasses Up can be toast of Ayr again
If there were an award for the bargain of the year then Glasses Up, who bids for his hat-trick at Ayr on Monday, would be on any shortlist.
The £2,000 purchase, bought unraced out of Joseph O'Brien's yard at the Doncaster Sales in January, has become the "dream horse" for his dozen owners who go under The Jolly Beggars banner and his trainer Mike Smith.
Glasses Up knows nowhere but Ayr in his five-race career – winning three times – and the Ayrshire Cancer Support James Bond Ball Handicap (3.40) gives him the opportunity to maintain his unbeaten record when ridden by Paddy Mathers.
His trainer, who has equalled last season's winning total of 11 winners and landed this race three years ago with Gworn, said: "He's in great order and has been a revelation.
"The handicapper has been fairish with him, raising him 9lb for his two latest victories, as Paddy hasn't had to get too serious with him to win.
"It has been a dream come true and we are still living the dream – we have turned down big offers already."
Smith, who has saddled seven of his 11 winners this year at his local track, added: "It's another big day at school for him and we hope he can take the next step up."
Glasses Up is one of two three-year-olds in the feature handicap, with Good Boy Alfie, owned and bred by Paul and Clare Rooney, bidding to give trainer Keith Dalgeish a second win in the race after Robinnielly two years ago.
Karen McLintock, who saddles Zabeel Star, has had the double blow of stable star Dubawi Fifty being ruled out for the season with a setback and having had to shut up shop for five weeks because of a virus.
The Northumberland trainer hit back with a winner from just her third runner when Avenue Of Stars scored at Newcastle on Thursday.
She said: "I am so glad we took our time to get over the little bug. It seemed a very long five weeks and I couldn't have done it without the owners being so understanding.
"The horses are running well straight away and I hope Zabeel Star will run well, but it looks a tricky little race."
Hughie Morrison sends just his sixth runner to the track in the last five years with top-weighted Not So Sleepy.
Turner out to keep in the headlines
Shergar Cup-winning rider Hayley Turner has the chance to keep her name in lights at Windsor with two high-profile rides.
Turner has ridden two winners from just five rides for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor and teams up with her recent Salisbury scorer Midnight Meeting in the feature MAM Flooring Handicap (7.00).
Earlier she teams up with her former boss Michael Bell to ride newcomer Ip Dip for the Four Desperate Housewives in the Racegoers Club 50th Anniversary British EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (6.00).
Looking good for Lavery at Ballinrobe
The feature at Ballinrobe on Monday night is the €25,000 Burleigh Accountancy Irish EBF Handicap (5.50).
It looks a good opportunity for the Sheila Lavery yard as she has two of the six runners, notably last-time-out winner Burning Question, who was successful at the Galway festival.
Before that the filly had finished second at Ballinrobe and she must have leading claims under Gary Carroll.
The only horse without the benefit of a recent run is Still Standing, winner of a Naas maiden in November on his third and final run as a two-year-old. The Jessica Harrington-trained colt looks sure to run well if fully wound up.
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