Contemplating an ante-post bet on one of the seasons most competitive handicaps nearly three weeks away and with an initial entry of 236 would appear an act of lunacy to most but there is every reason to believe that the 20-1 available with Ladbrokes about Mass Rally for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday 20th September could turn out to be a cracking value wager come the day of the race.
First of all the massive entry can be safely whittled down as with a maximum field of 27 allowed for the six furlong cavalry charge those handicapped below the 8st 11lb or 8st 12lb mark are unlikely to make the final cut, leaving us to concentrate on the top 50 in the current standings. Watchable, Discussiontofollow, Out Do and Burn The Boats are just a few of the market leaders that are far from certain to make the race unless there is a significant defection among the higher rated contenders.
Despite being a relative old-timer at the age of seven and without a victory since last October Michael Dods’ son of Kheleyf has the perfect profile going into the race for which he has been allotted a mark of 105, 3lb less than when a creditable sixth in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot last season and 2lb less than when beaten just over two lengths behind Maarek, Astaire and Es Que Love in the Duke Of York Stakes back in May on his penultimate start.
After a break of more than three months Mass Rally reappeared at York’s Ebor meeting and ran an eye-catching race in ninth place behind Blaine, Move In Time and B Fifty Two. Held up towards the rear the mount of Paul Mulrennan looked full of running approaching the final furlong but the gaps failed to materialise until it was too late. Nothing was finishing better than the horse at the end of the five and a half furlong contest, and with the run under his belt plus the extra half furlong and the expected softer ground conditions should prove ideal for Mass Rally who could easily go off favourite for the race two weeks on Saturday.
Already successful in the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup in 2012 Mass Rally has what it takes to to land the gold this time and rates a good each-way bet at the 20-1 on offer with the ‘magic sign’, a price that may not last too long.