The feature race on the opening day of Ayr's Western meeting is the Kilkerran Cup (16:45), a competitive mile-and-a-quarter handicap. Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings are headed by Platinumcard (113), who has had an extremely productive campaign, winning on four occasions. He completed the hat-trick when successful at Hamilton on his penultimate start and he deserves extra credit for that performance as he was further back than ideal in a race in which the runner-up, Howzer Black, was allowed an easy lead. Platinumcard's winning run came to a halt under a penalty at the same course ten days later, but it's easy enough to forgive that effort as he failed to see things out over a mile and a half. He is 4 lb lower here and will be suited by the return to a mile and a quarter, so holds solid claims.
Howzer Black (109), who like Platinumcard is trained by Keith Dalgleish, reopposes here and can't be ruled out, for all he had the run of things at Hamilton. He backed that up with a career-best effort to score at Ripon and he has run a number of good races in defeat at this venue. In fact, Howzer Black is one of four runners with the Horses For Courses Flag, highlighting his effectiveness under these conditions.
The others are Fairmac (110), a dual course winner, Tricorn (109), a dual course-and-distance winner, and Nicholas T (108), a seven-time winner at Ayr.
Cockalorum (110) hasn't won at Ayr but he was a close-up second on his last visit to the course in 2019. He is a reliable handicapper and has been at the top of his game this season, following victories at Musselburgh and Redcar with even better efforts in defeat at York and Goodwood. He has finished placed in valuable handicaps on his last three outings and this is arguably a slightly easier task.
Another runner who has been in fine fettle of late is Tommy G (110). He is 3 lb out of the handicap here but shouldn't be dismissed after running right up to his best when beaten less than a length in a valuable event at Haydock on Sunday. That proved his stamina for a mile and a quarter and he should give another good account.
Timeform's Analyst Verdict
Cockalorum has acquitted himself well in top-end handicaps on his last three starts and seems sure to go well again, so his claims appear to be as good as any. Platinumcard is perhaps capable of better still back down in trip and rates a big threat, while Tommy G is another in-form rival to take seriously.
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