Ayr Racecourse News
Ayr Racecourse

Scotland's Premier Racecourse

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Leading Newmarket trainer Willie Haggas has an excellent record at Ayr having won last year’s Ayr Gold Cup and he sends one runner north on Monday 9th August for the track’s latest meeting.

Ayr Racecourse

Kolisi, a lightly raced three year-old, contests the feature race Big Al’s 50th Birthday Handicap at 3.00pm. Two runs ago the gelding won a maiden at Salisbury and although running down the field at Goodwood last time out he is the one to beat here.

Former two time champion jockey Paul Hanagan takes the mount on Kolisi who could be given most to do by the Mark Johnston trained Dream With Me who won at the track in April and May and has Ben Curtis in the plate.

Some well-bred two year-olds line up in the QTS British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes including Kevin Ryan’s Merlin’s Lady who cost connections 320,000 guineas as a yearling.

Ribaldry, trained by David O’Meara and the mount of Danny Tudhope, looks the most capable of the horses with experience in this race having been runner up in similar events at Thirsk and Haydock.

The biggest field of the afternoon is in the QTS Training Handicap at 4.05pm where 14 runners go to post and a horse who could run well in this is Earn Your Stripes from the Mike Smith yard who should appreciate the easier going and is still very lightly raced.

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AYR Racecourse is delighted to announce a new sponsor Edinburgh based CHB Medical one of the world’s biggest suppliers of Certified PPE.

The July 20 fixture at Scotland’s premier racecourse will now be named the CHB Medical #keepingscotlandsafe race day with all eight races also named after the medical supplies giant.

CHB Medical has already very strong links with the racing industry having teamed up with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to create a Back To Racing pack, including face masks, gloves, coveralls, hand sanitiser, infrared thermometers, visors and goggles. The company also supplies racecourses, racehorse owners as well as trainers’ yards.

In addition, CHB supplies Certified PPE to several NHS Trusts, councils, care homes, dental firms, boxing and blue-chip corporates in large volumes on a rapid response basis.

CHB Medical is part of the CHB Global Group, which in addition to its Edinburgh office has its headquarters in Cheltenham and also has offices and warehousing in Australia, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

CHB underlined their reputation as one of the foremost PPE suppliers when sending reusable masks and sports masks to over 530 racecourses and trainers’ yards in a matter of days.

David Brown, Managing Director of Ayr Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to welcome CHB Medical as our newest sponsor. It is very fitting that one of the world’s biggest supplier of PPE and a company who have played an integral role in the return of racing since lockdown have chosen to support one of our summer race days.

“Their products are seen on every racecourse and without them we simply couldn’t stage race meetings as we slowly work our way out of lockdown.”

Felicity Griffiths, CEO of CHB Medical added: We are very excited to be able to add further support to a Sporting Industry that we have enjoyed partaking in for many years. Ayr Racecourse is one of Scotland’s best sporting venues and has a loyal following Nationwide, we are delighted to sponsor the July Fixture and are looking forward to being able to attend a Race Day in Ayr, once it is safe to do so “

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Ayr Racecourse was voted Sports Venue of the Year at the third 2018 Scottish Hospitality Awards held on Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

The finalists in the category included Hampden Park, Celtic Park, Ibrox Park, Hamilton Racecourse and Murrayfield Stadium. It is the second occasion the Racecourse won the honour having been crowned the first ever winner back in 2016.

The aim of the awards is to acknowledge the success of local professionals and establishments from restaurants and hotels to festivals and venues. The winners are chosen by members of the general public and reflect the high standard and customer service of the Scottish hospitality industry.

Ayr Racecourse and Western House Hotel Managing Director David Brown commented : “It is a huge honour to receive these two prestigious awards.

“Being voted Sports Venue of the Year is a tremendous achievement for the Racecourse team when you consider the major sporting venues there are in Scotland.

“We are proud that the Racecourse has recognised in this way.”

At the same awards ceremony Ayr Racecourse’s Western House Hotel was crowned Hotel of the Year after first winning the regional category for the south west.

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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.