A MASSIVE surprise was sprung in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup with England football legend Michael Owen basking in similar glory to that experienced as a player, writes Stewart McConnell.

He was the co-owner of Angel Alexander which burst clear a the sun-drenched Craigie track despite having a high draw to win Europe’s richest sprint handicap from fellow 28-1 shot Growl.

Owen absent owing to being on duty as a football TV pundit, tweeted joyfully later: “Get In there ya beauty.”

Jubilant co-owner Steve Mound said: “What a buzz - it was tremendous. We didn’t think we had got the ground - we didn’t think we had got the ideal draw.

“In years gone by there’s been a golden highway down that side, we decided to stick to the golden highway and see what happened and he has come into it very bad nicely and travelled very well. I had the enjoyment of a runner in the Ayr Gold Cup not really expecting to win it so I got excited in the last 100 yards. This is one of my biggest wins.”

Jubilant jockey Richard Kingscote added: “I just got my head down, got in the horse’s rhythm and let him keep his flow. I got there early but He had the momentum. Horses need their momentum.

“He has the profile for this race. We thought we were coming here for soft ground which we didn’t get. He’s a likeable horse and had a hard year but he’s done well.”

Tim Easterby was the victorious trainer of Golden Apollo, ridden by David Allan which won the Silver Cup.

He said: “We had never won the Silver Cup before. He’s a good horse that and it takes a good horse to win this race. It was perfect ground and the perfect race for him.

He came from behind. Everything was right for him. He’s won at Ascot and York and the course was in great condition.”