Ayr Racecourse News
Ayr Racecourse

Scotland's Premier Racecourse

Free Racing Tips


Ayr Racecourse stages its fifth and final meeting of July on Monday 25th with the aptly named July Finale Raceday bringing the curtain down on the course’s busiest month of the year.

The seven racecard has an earlier than usual start with the EBF Maiden Stakes for two year-olds being run at 1.00pm.This five and a half furlong contest is always a competitive affair and the Michael Dods’ trained Tatterstall looks the pick of the nine runners having finished second at Beverley earlier in the month. Connor Beasley takes the ride.

The feature of the day is the  1m 2f handicap at 3.20pm which sees Noble Anthem, the mount of Paul Mulrennan,  and Mike Smith’s six time track winner Glasses Up,  with Jason Hart riding,  clash again after the former beat his rival by a neck here 22 days ago. Mike Smith also runs Tilsitt (Danny Tudhope) and Kondo Isami (Jimmy Sullivan) in the £15,000 race.

Jim Goldie is a trainer in great form and he has no fewer than nine runners on the card including Classy Al who contests the Book Scottish Sun Ladies Night Handicap at 2.45pm. The four year-old has won twice at the track this season and with regular jockey Paul Mulrennan riding will be hard to beat.

The meeting ends with the Sunday Market At Ayr Racecourse Handicap over five furlongs at 4.25pm and Donald McCain a trainer best known for his exploits over jumps saddles Nacho here with Graham Lee riding and the gelding who won at Woverhampton earlier in the year could be ready to pounce again.


Virgin Bet is to retain its sponsorship of the Ayr Gold Cup, Scotland’s most prestigious flat race, as part of an extended deal to maintain naming rights of the three-day Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival which runs from Thursday September 15th through Saturday September 17th.

Ayr Racecourse and Virgin Bet, one of the UK’s fastest growing sportsbooks, today announced the renewed sponsorship deal following the success of the inaugural partnership which commenced in 2021.

Once again, the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup will be the highlight of ITV Racing’s live television broadcasting on Saturday 17th September. ITV1’s coverage of the 2021 race reached 1.24m people, with a peak audience of 632k for the flagship race itself.

In addition to the feature race, the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup, the betting operator will sponsor eight other key races during the festival. As with last year, this includes Saturday’s Ayr Silver Cup, the Doonside Cup Listed Race, and the Firth of Clyde Stakes (Scotland’s only Group One race). Virgin Bet will also continue sponsorship of Thursday’s Kilkerran Cup and the Ayr Bronze Cup on Friday.

David Brown, Managing Director of Ayr Racecourse, said: “I know I speak for the entire team at Ayr in saying we are delighted Virgin Bet have renewed their sponsorship of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival.
“Virgin Bet is one of the fastest growing sportsbooks in the UK and it is an honour for us that they have once again pledged their support to the biggest and richest Flat racing festival in Scotland which is also one of the most anticipated fixtures in the British racing calendar.

“Sponsorship has never been as important to racing as it is now and to attract a sponsor of this magnitude underlines the importance of this Festival.

“We look forward once again to working with the team at Virgin Bet to deliver a memorable 2022 Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup.”

James McKay, Sportsbook Director at Virgin Bet added: “Following the success of last year’s partnership with Ayr Racecourse, we are proud to continue our sponsorship of one of the highlights in Scotland and the UK’s racing calendars.

“Virgin Bet continues to cement itself as a leading runner in horse racing, and following the popularity of last year’s festival amongst our customers, headlined by The Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup, it was only natural for us to extend our partnership with one of the biggest moments in the flat-racing season.

We can’t wait to once again support British racing on what I’m sure will be a thrilling three days at the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival in September.”

2021’s instalment of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival attracted over 11,000 fans with a host of top horses, trainers and jockeys part of the illustrious event. Bielsa, named after the charismatic former Argentinian Leeds United FC manager, ridden by Kevin Stott, was first past the post of a top-class field to claim glory, joining an esteemed list of winners since the race’s inception over 215 years ago, in 1804.

Entries for the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup close at noon on Tuesday August 9.

Free Racing Tips

Brilliant sunshine, a sell-out Saturday crowd, top class racing and fantastic entertainment combined to make the 2015 Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse a huge success.

The huge crowd of 16,500 on Saturday witnessed a memorable running of the £210,000 Coral Scottish Grand National with Wayward Prince, a 25/1 shot holding on gamely to win by three quarters of a length from the fast finishing Irish raider Goonyella.

Wayward Prince
© Grossick Racing Photography
Wayward Prince

A delighted owner and trainer Hilary Parrott had decided last year to move the horse from trainer Ian Williams to her own small yard and admitted : "The change of scenery did him good. He loved the ground and was always travelling well."

And winning jockey Robert Dunne commented : "I thought when they came to me before the last I was going to get beaten but he kept sticking out his neck and battled all the way to the line.

"It's a huge day for me and my biggest ever win. I had to lose nine pounds to make the weight so feel a bit weak at the moment but it was all worthwhile."

Earlier in the afternoon Cheltenian won the £100,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle for trainer Philip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson in what was a high quality race.

After the last flight it looked as if the Nicky Henderson horse Sign Of A Victory would win but a fighting display by Cheltenian saw him hold on by a neck.

Duke Of Navan won the Scotty Brand Handicap Chase under an ultra-confident Brian Harding ride confirming the jockey as the leading rider at the track for the 2014-2015 jumps season with Lucinda Russell top trainer and Paul and Clare Rooney top owners.

Friday's highlight was the Listed Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase and this was won by course specialists Presenting Junior winning at Ayr for the fourth time this season for owners Mr and Mrs Wilson Garnet, trainer Martin Todhunter and jockey Wilson Renwick.

Reflection on a highly successful Festival Ayr Racecourse Managing Director David Brown commented : "The two days saw some excellent racing with some exciting finishes and we were blessed with some fantastic weather.

"The atmosphere was good with everyone enjoying themselves and joining in the occasion. I thank everyone for their support."


Jockey James Doyle was the star of the show at the 2014 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, winning both the Gold and Silver Cups.

James Doyle and Louis The Pious
© Grossick Racing Photography
James Doyle and Louis The Pious

The southern based rider steered last year's big race runner up Louis The Pious to land gold around an hour after he tasted silver success on the Roger Charlton trained Huntsmans Close.

He wrote his name into the record books when Louis The Pious won as no jockey has achieved the double before and he showed his delight as the David O'Meara 10/1 chance crossed the line.

James also captured the opening race, the QTS Handicap on Power Play for Richard Hannon making it a treble on his first visit to the track in seven years.

Graham Lee was another jockey at the top of his game riding Dark Reckoning to win the William Hill Firth of Clyde Stakes for trainer Ann Duffield at odds of 25/1 and then partnering the Saeed bin Suroor trained Sky Hunter, the 9/4 favourite, to land the William Hill 80th Anniversary Book Launch Doonside Cup.

And Graham was also among the winners earlier in the week winning the Nursery Handicap on Roosey for Willie Haggas on Friday and landing the Wallace McDowall Handicap on Orient Class on Thursday.

Keith Dalgleish was the only Scottish trainer on the scoresheet -Harrison's Cave, ridden by Joe Fanning, won the Grants Fruit Merchants Prestwick Handicap on Thursday and Beautiful Stranger took the Enterprise Screen 10 Years of Video Handicap on Friday.

Thursday's prestigious William Hill Handicap for the Kilkerran Cup was won by Fire Fighting, trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Joe Fanning.