Attempting to predict when VOLATILE ANALYST (Ayr, nap, 3.40) will peak is a tricky exercise, but a return to his favoured venue with Callum Rodriguez on board may be the catalyst to a big performance in the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup.
A number of recent winners were proven over distances in excess of six furlongs and that is the case for the selection who has been campaigned over seven furlongs and a mile all summer, since being gelded in the close season.
Boasting the stamina for trips in excess of sprint distances is a useful attribute in big-field sprint handicaps because the pace can be unrelenting. Those that have the ability to lie up with a generous gallop while possessing the capacity to finish strongly are usually seen to an advantage.
Volatile Analyst won tidily at York over seven furlongs back in May, displaying an ability to race on the speed before lengthening decisively, so it will be fascinating to see if he can translate that to today’s feature.
Unbeaten in both starts at Ayr, Volatile Analyst boasted the quality to finish fourth to subsequent Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde in Group company at Goodwood as a juvenile and, although he has yet to fully realise his potential, maybe a return to sprinting will be the key.
The bookmakers don’t believe so, but his morning odds appear to underestimate a horse that remains unexposed at today’s distance and his effort over a mile here at the start of last month suggested he remains in good heart.
Volatile Analyst travelled like the best horse that day before he was struck over the nose by a rival’s whip and found the mile beyond him, so could be worth chancing at a big price, especially with some layers offering enhanced place terms.
Long term ante-post favourite Great Ambassador could be the proverbial potential Group horse in a handicap, especially as his recent efforts have been exceptional on the clock.
Stall one could be a tricky berth, however, especially with the majority of the pace likely to be situated middle to high, so he is reluctantly overlooked given his price.
By Sam Turner