Six-year-old gelding Ayrton is bound for Western Australia this week as the rejuvenated galloper continues his spring campaign. His next start will come at Ascot on Saturday 16 December in the $1.5 million Group 3 Gold Rush (1400m).
Ayrton has had a well-documented career, suffering a suspected spider bite after winning five of his first seven starts. He overcame those struggles to return to form first up in April 2022, but lost his way soon after. It was 546 days between drinks for Ayrton but after a change in training routine, he was back in the winner’s stall in the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) on Saturday 14 October, giving staff and connections a huge thrill!
He backed up that tenacious win with a slashing run in the Group 2 Damien Oliver (1400m) on Derby Day, running the third fasted last 400m of the entire meeting. Third up he produced an admirable effort in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) after being hampered on a few occasions up the straight, still finding the line with gusto to finish sixth.
Co-trainer Mick Price said Ayrton has been a model of consistency this campaign. “Ayrton is a stable favourite for all that he has had to overcome and both the staff and connections are happy to see him thriving again,” Price said.
“This campaign has seen him take his earnings to over $800,000 and importantly, he’s shown us he
still has a desire to race and be competitive. “We’ve taken a softly-softly approach with him and he seems to be enjoying his work and his racing. “He’ll be on the plane to Western Australia this week where he will stay with Simon Miller at Ascot
and be accompanied by our Assistant Trainer Ben Elam.
“The Gold Rush looks an ideal race for him and a month between runs will allow us to keep him fresh
for the 1400m.” Western Australia will be the fifth state Ayrton has competed in, with the travel holding no concerns
for the Price-Kent team. “At six-years-old and with plenty of travelling under his belt, the flight won’t phase him and he’ll
enjoy the one-on-one attention in Perth.”