Quick Guide to the Ayr Gold Cup Festival

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The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival runs from 21st to 23rd September 2017. One of the most historic in the racing calendar, it is Scotland’s biggest and richest Flat race meeting with prize money of £730,500 to be won across 22 races.

Top Races at the Ayr Gold Cup Festival:

    • THE WILLIAM HILL AYR GOLD CUP (Heritage Handicap) – This is Scotland’s richest horse race over the Flat with £200,000 in prize-money in 2017. It is also one of the leading sprint handicaps in Europe so it attracts extremely high quality horses – you’ll never forget the sight of 25 of the country’s top sprint handicappers hurtling down the six furlong home straight at Ayr in around 70 seconds, chased by a roaring wave of sound from the stands.
    • THE WILLIAM HILL FIRTH OF CLYDE STAKES (Group 3) – This is Scotland’s only Group race, a six furlong sprint for fillies.
    • THE WILLIAM HILL AYR SILVER CUP –Due to the enormous amount of entries received for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, this consolation race was introduced in 1992 and has since become established in its own right.
    • THE WILLIAM HILL AYR BRONZE CUP – Added to the schedule in 2009 this is now the third major sprint handicap of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival. Run on the Friday –  Ladies Day.
    • SHADWELL STUD/EBF STALLIONS HARRY ROSEBERY STAKES (Class 1 Listed Race) –Another highlight of Ladies Day, the Harry Rosebery Stakes, run over five furlongs, is also an historic race.
    • THE WILLIAM HILL DOONSIDE CUP (Class 1 Listed Race) –This race was moved to the opening day of the festival in 2016. Run over one mile two furlongs, look out for raiders from the top southern yards.
    • THE AL MAKTOUM CUP ARRAN SCOTTISH FILLIES’ SPRINT STAKES (LISTED RACE) – The inaugural running of this Class 1 Listed race will be held on Ladies Day, Friday 22nd September. Run over 5.5 furlongs and with £50,000 to be won, look out for some speedy fillies.
    • THE WILLIAM HILL DOWNLOAD THE APP HANDICAP (for the Kilkerran Cup) – This Class 2 Handicap over one mile two furlongs is run on the Saturday of the Festival  and normally attracts big fields.
    • THE WILLIAM HILL AYRSHIRE HANDICAP – Run between  the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup and the William Hill Silver Cup this mile handicap is always hotly contested.

Best Dressed Competition

Ayr Racecourse’s annual Ladies Competition is the culmination of a series of Best Dressed competitions throughout the summer at Ayr. Coins, which provide entry to the Ladies Day final, are awarded to Best Dressed Ladies at a series of events – Tennent’s Racenight on 23rd June, Scottish Sun Raceday on 24th June, QTS Ladies Night on 12th August and at the opening two days of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival on 21st and 22nd September.

The final is held on William Hill Ayr Ladies Day, Friday 22nd September with up to 25 finalists who will then draw the name of a horse running in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup – the lady with the winning horse wins the first prize and there are also terrific prizes for second and third.


Live Music

On Gold Cup Day – Saturday – there will be live bands and entertainment throughout the day including Replay (Horseshoe Bar from 5.40pm), The Beatles Revolution (from midday in the Tennent’s In The Tent Marquee) and Drums ‘n’ Roses playing for racegoers entering via the main entrance at the front of the Racecourse from 10.30am–2.30pm.

For more information and tickets see the dedicated website for the festival at http://www.ayrgoldcup.co.uk


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