THE Ayr Gold Cup gamble on Tuesday's impressive Yarmouth winner Harry Patch gathered momentum on Wednesday, following the release of the weights for the September 18 handicap sprint - but the Michael Jarvis-trained horse still needs 32 horses to come out to make the cut.

William Hill, sponsor of the showpiece Flat contest at Ayr, went 25-1 about Harry Patch before his victory at Yarmouth, but, having cut him to 16-1 immediately after the success, were forced to shorten his odds again - to 12-1 - on Wednesday.

Victor Chandler went 14-1 (from 25), but that is still the biggest price on offer, with every other firm betting on the race going 12-1.

A 5lb penalty for his win this week would be topped by a further 3lb should Jarvis attempt to win the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap with him next week, buteven that might not be enough to squeeze into Europe's richest sprint handicap.

There is also a ground issue for punters to ponder, as the horse has run only on good to soft or soft - and his participation is said to be dependent on the going at Ayr.

Of his wife Gay's horse, now on 8st 7lb, the trainer told the Racing Post on Wednesday: "He is fine after his win at Yarmouth but he's ground dependent.


"He had a pelvic injury early on last year, which is why he had not been seen for such a long time and it's not categorical he runs at Ayr. If the right race and conditions come along, then whatever that is would be a possibility."

In the Cambridgeshire market William Hill cut Proponent to 16-1 (from 20) on Wednesday and Pires to 20-1 (from 25) on what was a fairly busy day on the market movers front.

The Elie Lellouche-trained Planteur was cut for the Arc by Victor Chandler,into 12-1 (from 14), while Hills had reason to shorten Espoir City for the Breeders' Cup Classic. They went 16-1 (from 25).

George Washington's sole offspring Date With Destiny, who could have her next start in the Group 3 Chichester Observer Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday, was cut to 20-1 (from 33) for the 1,000 Guineas by Coral, while Hills trimmed Laughing Lashes - due to take on Memory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes this Sunday - to 20-1 (from 25).