Ryan rockets ahead
A review of the afternoon action from Ayr where Amy Ryan forged clear in the battle for the champion apprentice.
The rider moved two clear at the top of the race with a victory on Delores Rocket in the Giles Insurance Nursery.
The filly, trained by her father, Kevin, had only won at Pontefract on Monday yet despite those exertions and effectively racing off a 9lb higher mark, she sloshed through the mud to beat Slipstream Angel by three and a quarter lengths.
She was ridden by Julie Burke on Monday, who can claim 3lb still, but Ryan, who is in a race with Darren Egan to be champion apprentice, took over in the saddle and the 15-8 favourite lumped top weight to victory.
"At the minute things are going great so if I stay a couple clear then I can relax a little bit," Ryan told Racing UK.
"It was always in the back of my mind to give it a go as it was my last year as an apprentice but to be in this position is great.
"I've a lot to thank Mr (Richard) Whittaker for, he's really supported me and I'm very thankful.
"Obviously my dad, too. I've been lucky Phil (Makin, Ryan's stable jockey) has been banned this week and I've picked up a couple of spares.
"There's still a long way to go and anything could happen.
"Delores Rocket is a little star. When I won on her at Carlisle she got a hefty rise. She then ran well at Wolverhampton, won at Pontefract and I thought she had a lot of weight today. She's tough."
Bond Fastrac returned from a summer break to waltz away with the second division of the Giles Insurance Handicap.
Having shown soft ground form back in June and July, he had not been seen since the end of that month at Pontefract.
That meant he was fresher than most of his rivals, though, and the 18-1 shot scooted clear under Tony Hamilton to beat Breezolini by two lengths.
The first division was won in even more impressive style by Eric Alston's Barkston Ash (11-2).
Having never previously won on ground softer than good, it was a surprise he was able to handle the testing conditions to such good effect under Jason Hart.
Earlier on the card Mel Brittain's Mister Marcasite (11-4) had bounced back to form in the Giles Insurance/EBF Maiden for David Allan.
Second on his first two starts he bombed out badly when last seen at Beverley but crucially that was on quick ground.
Returned to a surface with plenty of give he narrowly held off Duke Of Yorkshire by a short head.
Allan said: "I rode him at Beverley last time and the ground was too fast for him but before that he'd shown form that was good enough to win this. He handled the ground which was key.
"He stays well and the boss told me to make it a stamina test."
David Bergin is making a name for himself and partnered Elusive Bonus in the Bud & Joe Pieroni Memorial Handicap to their fourth win together.
She bounced back to form with a second a Redcar on Sunday and absolutely bolted in by seven lengths for David O'Meara.
"I was very impressed. All her wins have come on soft or heavy ground, she just loves the mud," said Bergin on Racing UK.
"She travelled really well. Two furlongs out I was still on the bridle, I couldn't believe it, then I just shook her up and she did it really easy.
"It's the heaviest ground I've ridden her in but she appreciates it.
"I think the owner wants to give her one or two more runs and then she'll be off to the sales. She's been very good to me."
The InTechnology Services Handicap was only over 10 furlongs but towards the end of the card and after it had rained all afternoon the ground had turned extremely testing, with Brian Ellison's Amaze (9-2) and Brian McHugh holding off Hillview Boy.
Malton trainer Ellison ended the day on high as It's A Mans World (5-1) took the Giles Insurance Corporate Handicap in the hands of Paul Pickard.