Son Of Rest has been the subject of plenty of attention from punters ahead of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup – and trainer Fozzy Stack concedes he looks a “handicap good thing”.
The four-year-old flashed home in the Group One Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, to be beaten just half a length by Karl Burke’s Havana Grey, and is set for a quick reappearance this weekend.
The handicapper has handed Son Of Rest a 10lb hike in the ratings off the back of that performance, but he is able to compete off his previous mark in Scotland on Saturday.
Stack told At The Races: “He came out of the race well. He’s a very relaxed horse. He eats, sleeps and drinks and walks around half asleep.
“We’re thrilled with the way he ran on Sunday. It was a bit bittersweet to get so close and yet so far.
“He’s the proverbial handicap good thing. He’s 10lb well-in, but the Ayr Gold Cup is a bit like the Grand National – it’s a bit of a lottery.
“It’s a very famous old race and it’s not often you’re supposedly on the right side of the handicapper.”
Son Of Rest is one of only two Irish-trained horses guaranteed a run in the race – which offers nearly £125,000 to the winner – along with Adrian Keatley’s G Force.
After cutting Stack’s runner from 20-1 to 6-1, Rupert Adams, spokesman for the sponsors, said: “The gamble on Son Of Rest has taken us by surprise, as it is a race that is notoriously difficult to win.”
Mark Johnston’s three-year-old Cardsharp has been left at the top of the weights, with Great St Wilfrid winner Gunmetal, Perfect Pasture and Kimberella others towards the top.
There are still almost 170 horses entered for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Cups.