No respite: Son Of Rest to be kept busy as Stack plots Ayr Gold Cup mission
Son Of Rest will not be getting any rest as trainer Fozzy Stack on Monday said his mud-loving sprinter will contest the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup just six days after chasing home Havana Grey in a Group 1 at the Curragh.
Son Of Rest flew home to get within half a length of winning the Flying Five, a performance which prompted the handicapper to raise his mark 10lb to 111.
He will, however, be allowed to run off his old mark of 101 at Ayr on Saturday and punters have latched on, with the race sponsor cutting him to 6-1 favourite (from 20) for a race in which Irish-trained horses have a poor record.
Stack said: "We have to have a go. He takes his races well and I'm not too worried about the race coming so soon. When he was placed in the Flying Five last year it came the week after he ran at Tipperary.
"I know people have said it wasn't the strongest Group 1 on Sunday, but it was't a bad race either and he was ahead of Sioux Nation, who is a Group 1 winner, so I think the form is quite solid."
He added: "I don't think he fires in the summer but he seems to come to life in the autumn when there's some cut in the ground. The Ayr Gold Cup is always a bit of a lottery but we'll enter it. Chris Hayes rides."
Richard Fahey is full of hope Growl's supporters could finally get their reward, with the race likely to be run on testing ground.
Marwan Koukash's Stewards' Cup and Great St Wilfrid Handicap third has not won since 2016 but the weather forecast is his favour.
"He goes on any ground but his best form is on slower," said Fahey. "He was placed in a Group 1 on it. This year we've had such a dry summer and he's run well but it looks like we're going to get a bit of slower ground.
"He was second in the race two years ago to Brando, who's ended up a Group 1 horse, so that's pretty solid form. I told Marwan he'd win a big handicap this year so hopefully he can finish off with the Ayr Gold Cup."
Fahey declared eight for the abandoned sprint feature last year and is set to have at least three runners this time.
"George Bowen's in great order and he's had a fantastic season," he said. "He's in tip-top shape and we've kept him fresh for this. But the handicapper's had his say. He's won on soft ground but it will be a big task to win off 107.
"Kimberella is a Listed winner this year and he's in off 105; it sounds crazy to say he's well handicapped, but on his very best form he's in there with maybe a few pounds in hand.
"I thought he ran a solid race the other day at York behind Limato, and going in off a run like that you'd be hoping he'd run a big race."
Ayr clerk of the course Graeme Anderson confirmed mudlarks would be in their element at the three-day meeting, which starts on Thursday.
"We're soft at the moment and they're forecasting quite a bit of rain on Wednesday and Thursday, with gale force winds," he said. "If that is right I think 'heavy' will be creeping into it somewhere."
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