Conditions at Ayr ahead of the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival, which gets under way on Thursday 18th September, remained heavy after 15 mm of rain fell on Monday night into Tuesday morning.
More rain – up to 10 mm – was forecast up until last evening with drier and brighter weather due today (Wednesday).
Clerk of the Course Katherine Self and her ground staff are working round the clock and will move rails to ensure there is as much fresh ground to race on as possible over the three days.
As always on the eve of a big meeting Katherine Head Groundsman Andrew Jackson and Chairman of the Stewards David Goldie will walk the course at 9.00 am this morning (Wed) when a further update will be issued.
Katherine said :”The ground staff are doing a great job and we were raceable even after the overnight rain on Monday into Tuesday. Rails will be moved to ensure as much fresh ground as possible and I look forward to my eve of meeting walk round the track with Andrew and David.
“We are forecast to be dry all day Wednesday and most of Thursday with a further band of rain forecast on Thursday evening overnight into Friday.”
Scottish Horse Top Weight in Ayr Gold Cup 15/09/08
THE Linda Perratt trained Appalachian Trail will have to defy top weight to win Saturday’s John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup after 142 horses stood their ground at the five day stage on Monday.
It is 33 years since Roman Warrior won the race for Nigel Angus to become the last Scottish trained horse to do ironically also under top weight of 10 stone. Appalachian Trail is set to carry 9st 9lb.
Hogmaneigh, winner of Saturday’s Portland Handicap at Doncaster is on 9st 1lb while the winners of the last two runnings of the race Advanced (2007) and Fonthill Road (2006) will both carry 9st 5lbs.
The final declarations for the £150,000 Gold Cup, Europe’s richest sprint handicap, will be made on Thursday morning with the public draw for the race taking place in the Owners Bar at Ayr at 11.00 am.
Entries for the £60,000 Alphabet Supplies Doonside Cup, a Listed Race, are also of a high standard with the 115 rated Luca Cumani trained Curtain Call catching the eye along with Paul Cole’s River Proud and the Henry Cecil pair Many Volumes and Tranquil Tiger.
The three day John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival kicks off on Thursday and there is a total of more than £600,000 of prize money on offer.
Clerk of the Course Katherine Self said yesterday the going is now heavy, soft in places .The forecast is to continue showery until lunchtime today and it is then to remain dry until early hours of Thursday morning. Friday and Saturday are to become much drier and brighter.
John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Prize Fund Tops £600,000
The richest flat race meeting in Scotland – the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse - has been given a huge cash boost with prize money for the meeting next month topping £600,000 - a £100,000 increase on last year.
The Festival runs from Thursday September 18 until Saturday September 20 and features a Group 3 race, two Listed Races and the Gold and Silver Cups.
The prize fund for the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup run on Saturday September 20, rises by almost £30,000 to £150,000 with the winner taking home £93,465 while the Silver Cup run the day before is worth £50,000, a £15,000 hike from last year.
Two other major races on the Saturday – The Laundry Cottage Stud Firth Of Clyde Stakes, a Group 3 event, and the Doonside Cup, a Listed Race, have cash pots of £80,000 and £60,000 respectively. In total over the three days there will be £606,000 in prize money.
Ayr Racecourse Managing Director Richard Johnstone said : “Last year we hit the £500,000 mark in prize money at the Gold Cup Festival for the first time so to jump over £100,000 in a year is a very significant rise.
”We have attracted an early entry of 171 horses for the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup with around 25 of them rated 100 or higher so there is no doubt that top prizes attract top horses.
“The Doonside Cup also benefited last year from a cash boost and we saw a race featuring some outstanding horses with Anna Pavlova winning. I think we are in for another treat this year.”
Advance bookings are being taken for the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival and there are discounts available on bookings made seven or more days in advance. Book online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk or call 0870-8505666
John Smith’s to Sponsor Ayr Gold Cup 02/05/08
JOHN Smith’s is to sponsor the Ayr Gold Cup Festival, Scotland’s top horse racing event of the flat season which includes the richest sprint handicap in Europe the Ayr Gold Cup.
The drinks brand, synonymous with the sport through their long standing sponsorship of the Grand National at Aintree, will be the main sponsors for the three day Festival in September replacing the Tote who had sponsored the race since 2001.
The first John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup will be run on Saturday September 20, the third and final day of the 2008 John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival.
Announcing the sponsorship deal Alasdair Moore, Regional Sales Director West of Scotland for Scottish & Newcastle UK North said : “We are delighted John Smith’s will be the new sponsors of the Ayr Gold Cup. The race is famous throughout Europe and this is a tremendous opportunity for us.”
Chairman of Ayr Racecourse, Alan Macdonald said : “I am thrilled to welcome John Smith’s one of the most famous names in racing to be the new sponsor of the Ayr Gold Cup Festival. The biggest race of the Festival is the Ayr Gold Cup itself and the John Smith’s sponsorship is set to increase the prize money on offer for the big races on the Friday and Saturday.
“The John Smith’s Ayr Silver Cup run on Friday which is Ladies Day will be run for a total prize fund of £50,000 a tremendous sum considering this is a consolation race. The main race of the Festival, the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup will now have a fantastic £150,000 prize fund which will ensure that this will be a target for all the top trainers.
“Since we took over Ayr John Smith’s have been a great supporter for Ayr and have played a significant role in its resurgence. My thanks go to Scottish & Newcastle UK North for this further commitment.”
The Ayr Gold Cup was first run in 1804 and won by Chancellor, also the winner the following year.The first Ayr Gold Cup to be staged on the current Ayr track was in 1907 and was won by Mr. R. Waldie Griffith’s Charis, a five year-old trained by R. Sherwood.
Last year’s race was won by Advanced, trained by Kevin Ryan and ridden by Jamie Spencer and over the three days crowds of 22,630, the highest for more than 30 years, flocked to the course.