Happy Ayrton key to Gold Rush success

Exciting galloper Ayrton has quickly adapted to his new surroundings in Perth, according to Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr’s stable representative Ben Elam.

AYRTON.
AYRTON. Picture: Racing Photos

Ayrton arrived in Perth with fellow Pinnacles contenders last week and will line up in next month's Damien Oliver Gold Rush By TABtouch (1400m) at Ascot.

By taking his place in the Gold Rush, the well-travelled Ayrton will have raced in each of the Australian mainland states.

Ben Elam, pictured above, said the $1.5 million event worked perfectly into Ayrton's schedule and gave him the right amount of time to acclimatise to last week's warm conditions.

"He can be a little fragile, but he got over here and settled in pretty quickly," Elam told TABradio.

"Coming into weather like that they can be a little bit sensitive in the feed bin.

"He took to the conditions pretty quickly."

The gelding was bitten by a spider in the spring of 2021, which saw his promising career put on hold for more than six months.

Ayrton's career appeared to be at the crossroads after a lacklustre autumn campaign earlier this year, where he was unplaced in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m), Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) and the Listed City Of Adelaide Handicap (1400m).

The six-year-old showed signs he was back to his best taking out the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last month.

His two subsequent runs have resulted in two gallant unplaced performances in the Group 2 Damien Oliver (1400m) at Flemington and Group 1 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Elam said the stable had to go back to basics with Ayrton.

"He had a bit of an iffy prep earlier this year, then we gave him a break and for him to win first-up was a brilliant performance," he said.

"You have to press the reset button and put him in a paddock of green grass and let him be a horse again.

"You also have to find the right races for him.

"He's a horse that races better fresh, that's why it's nice to have the flight over here and three-and-a-half weeks into this race works for a horse that doesn't appreciate his runs being close together."

Price is no stranger to success in Perth, having won the Railway Stakes in 1999 with Slavonic.

Ayrton is set to be Price and Kent Jnr's first runner in Perth as a training partnership.

Elam said Ayrton's last start in the Sir Rupert Clark Stakes had given the stable confidence they could win the second edition of the Group 3 feature.

"He stepped out slowly and he was caught at the rear end of the field, rather than up on speed where he was first-up," he said.

"He picked himself up and ran a solid last 150 metres.

"Off the basis of that, you can come over here confident he's in good form.

"His fitness levels are where we need them now."

Ayrton is on the third line of betting with TABtouch for the Gold Rush at $7.

Amelia's Jewel ($5) and Super Smink ($6) are at the head of the market.


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