The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The HALO Scotland announces partnership with CGI that’s out of this world

CGI, a leading global IT services provider, and the HALO Scotland this week announces an innovative partnership that will create further employment opportunities at the Kilmarnock urban regeneration initiative.

The agreement will see the HALO and CGI work collaboratively to develop technologies that will provide young people and current workforces with the skills in cyber, digital, space technology, health and finance needed to excel in tomorrow’s world.

One of CGI’s key areas of expertise is in the space industry, and Steve Smart, Vice President of CGI in Scotland, will lead this element of the partnership. Steve has played a key role in CGI’s UK Space, Defence and National & Cyber Security business, where he worked directly with the European Space Agency (ESA). He also led the formation of CGI’s cyber security business, supporting clients in both the public and private sectors.




[Pictured: Steve Smart, Vice President of CGI in Scotland, and Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO Urban Regeneration Company.]

The innovative partnership between CGI and The HALO is designed to:

·         * Enhance the HALO’s employability initiatives for young people in Ayrshire by harnessing CGI’s technical expertise to focus on cyber and digital skills, supporting the proposed spaceport at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

·      * Utilise CGI’s business know-how to support innovative start-up, step-up and scale-up entrepreneurial businesses, particularly those that specialise in cyber and digital technologies.

·         * See the HALO and CGI establish and develop research and practical learning partnerships with education facilities such as Glasgow Caledonian University and Ayrshire College with a particular focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

·         *  Engage CGI with Ayrshire College to create a Children’s Innovation Centre/Nursery of the Future, and work with students to further develop the concept which will be based at the HALO.

·         * Develop technologies to support Digital Health and Social Care at a commercial, local and national level.

The HALO Kilmarnock is an imaginative, innovative and inspirational regeneration initiative located on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. It is being shaped as a multi-faceted brown-field regeneration that will create a unique urban park with a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter.

Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO Urban Regeneration Company, said: “CGI is a massive global IT provider, and I am thrilled to see this industry leader become the latest partner of the HALO’s urban regeneration initiative.

“I am thrilled that CGI, with its extensive experience in the IT and space industry is joining us as part of the HALO project. The HALO will work collaboratively with CGI to support the Glasgow Prestwick Airport spaceport project as the UK, Scotland and, of course, Ayrshire takes significant strides in the space industry.

“CGI will also support the HALO’s continued vision of providing our young people with the cyber, digital and also space skills that will be needed to make an impact in tomorrow’s world.”

Steve Smart, Vice President of CGI Scotland, said: “Regeneration of this nature, with the opportunities it brings for development and training in our industry, is hugely exciting and adds further to our commitment to Scotland. We very much look forward to collaborating with the team over the coming years and bringing our expertise to such an innovative project.”

Posted by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.



Monday, 6 August 2018

Swiss Classic Formation adds to Scottish International Airshow excitement

Adding to the record success last year, when tens of thousands of people flocked to Ayr for the Scottish International Airshow, the organisers have announced yet another international first.

"Through our excellent contacts in the Edinburgh Swiss Consulate we have already announced the Swiss Airforce F18 fighter jet making a dramatic appearance at Ayr seafront on September 1st and 2nd" said co-director Doug Maclean.


"Now we are adding the four glorious aeroplanes of the Swiss Classic Formation. This is a wonderful private collection of 1940s transport aircraft. The DC3 and three Beech 18 aircraft are possibly the most beautifully kept vintage aeroplanes in Europe. They are visiting Scotland for the first time and have chosen The Scottish International Airshow to fly their unique display."

"We built Scotland's biggest Airshow to an international attraction in just 4 years" said Danny Anderson, Airshow co-director. "We have started to see our hard work pay off and the whole of Scotland is benefiting from the huge excitement that the Airshow brings." He continued - "We could not run the Airshow without our major sponsors like South Ayrshire Council, Spirit AeroSystems and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland's Events Directorate."

"It is through EventScotland's ongoing support through their Beacon Fund Programme that we've been able to bring the fabulous Swiss collection to Scotland," said Doug.

The purpose of EventScotland's Beacon Events Programme is to support uniquely Scottish events outside Glasgow and Edinburgh, which generate tourism benefits, contribute significantly to the Scotland the Perfect Stage impact areas and act as examples of best practice. 

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events, said: "We're delighted to be supporting of the Scottish International Airshow to continue to bring the best aircraft from around the world to the Ayr seafront. The addition of the Swiss collection further enhances the already impressive line-up aircraft attending this September.

"Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the thrills of the air displays, alongside the entertainment and exhibitions, including the STEM Pavilion, will ensure a great weekend out for all the family."

Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, said: "With our record-breaking Council investment in the Scottish International Airshow for 2018 and 2020, it's great to see the event continue to grow from strength to strength with this latest addition to the flying programme.

"I've no doubt the Swiss Classic Formation will be a further draw in bringing people from across the world to South Ayrshire and help showcase all that we have to offer our visitors as a major tourist destination.

"We look forward to welcoming the planes, the pilots, and the tens of thousands of people who will, I'm sure, have a weekend to remember. Start planning your visit now."

The Scottish International Airshow takes place at Ayr seafront on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September. 18 flying displays will take place and The Red Arrows will be the finale on both days. There is a huge ground exhibition, funfair, simulator, classic vehicle exhibitions and Future Zone technology chalet. For more information visit www.tsia.scot

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Godolphin stable grabs main prize at Ayr Racecourse

By Iain Ferguson

THE famous blue silks of the mighty Godolphin operation were carried to victory in the feature race at Ayr Racecourse on Monday when Dubai Horizon was an impressive winner of the Western House Handicap over 1m 2f under Irvine born jockey David Allan.


The Saeed bin Suroor trained four year-old (pictured above) was having only his sixth racecourse appearance but shed his maiden tag at odds of 3-1 and came home three and three quarter lengths in front of Mooltazem.

His rider commented afterwards: “I was impressed with Dubai Horizon today, and he quickly put the race to bed. He does have a bit of a high head carriage, but I let him do his own thing and it wasn’t a problem.”

There was a double on the day for leading trainer Richard Fahey with 7-4 chance Roderick winning the opening novice stakes after coming off the pace and Militia, 8-1, powering to victory in the Parkdean Resorts Handicap. Both horses were ridden by Tony Hamilton.

Hawick based trainer Alistair Whillans was on the scoresheet with Royal Shaheen, 9-1, who won the Sandylands Holiday Park Handicap over a mile with something to spare after a first class ride from Graham Lee.

The longest race of the afternoon the Sundrum Castle Handicap over 2m 1f was won by Question Of Faith, trained by Martin Todhunter and ridden by Callum Rodriguez.

Ayr’s next racing action comes on Tuesday evening with the Ayrshire Cancer Support Racenight.

The first race, a novice auction stakes, is due off at 5.40pm and this 6f sprint for two year olds looks likely to be another highly contested race of its type at the track.

The biggest field of the night is almost certain to be in the Volunteer At Ayrshire Cancer Support Handicap over 5f at 6.45pm. The Scottish stables of Linda Perratt, Jim Goldie, Keith Dalgleish, Iain Jardine and Mike Smith could all have runners in this.

The feature race of the night is the Fundraising Ideas At ayrshirecs.org Handicap at 7.50pm over 7f 50y and the final contest at 8.50pm is the Ayrshire Cancer Support Here To Help handicap over 1m 2f.

Ayrshire Cancer Support is the charity partner of Ayr Racecourse and all entry money raised on the night goes to the charity.

It is hoped a big crowd will turn up. Gates open at 3.40pm.

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.


Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Thursday, 26 July 2018

Spectacular new conservatory at Malin Court affords guests stunning views of Arran and the Firth of Clyde

A giant 120 sq. metre conservatory, with stunning views of the Firth of Clyde and the island of Arran, has been opened last week at Malin Court, the long-established hotel and nursing home which sits adjacent to Turnberry Golf course on the panoramic south Ayrshire coast.



The biggest conservatory manufactured to date by leading Scottish home improvement business CR Smith, the new structure is designed to enhance Malin Court’s appeal as a destination venue for both hotel guests and visitors.

Officially opened by John Dalrymple Hamilton, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, who has long family connections with Malin Court, the new structure is to be called The Boyd Lounge, after Boyd Tunnock CBE, the current chairman of Malin Court and a great supporter over many years.


[Pictured: John Dalrymple Hamilton, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of 
Ayrshire & Arran, with Boyd Tunnock CBE, chairman of Malin Court.]

Malin Court general manager Joan Dunlop said: “It is the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee or afternoon tea. We also think the new conservatory creates a magnificent space for weddings, anniversary parties and all kinds of functions.”

Kevin Eadie of CR Smith said: “The conservatory at Malin Court is the largest structure we have built to date. Its high energy efficient windows and solar central glass roof were designed and built specifically to accommodate Malin Court’s wonderful location on the edge of the Firth of Clyde. Its aluminium frame is specially-designed to support the expansive glass structure in all weathers.”

Malin Court is a hotel and care home which sits adjacent to Turnberry Golf Course and next to the picturesque village of Maidens. It has 18 ensuite bedrooms, a self-catering cottage and an AA Rosette-awarded restaurant. It is also a unique care home, providing nursing, residential and respite care for approximately 30 residents.


Posted by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Three Ayrshire Councils agree new joined-up economic approach

The three Ayrshire Councils have agreed to join forces to boost the local economy after exciting proposals were rubber-stamped this week.

The ambitious and groundbreaking Ayrshire Regional Economic Partnership will see the three local authorities combine resources and expertise when it is established in April 2019.


[Pictured left to right: South Ayrshire Councillors Alec Clark,
 Douglas Campbell (Leader), Brian McGinley (Depute Leader) and Brian Connolly.]

Elected members from North, South and East Ayrshire approved this new approach at meetings of their full Council this week.

The ambitious and groundbreaking Ayrshire Economic Partnership will provide strong regional leadership aimed at putting Ayrshire on the map. It will provide a determined and consistent voice ensuring that Ayrshire is lead in national debates and provide a powerful body to state the case for investment at a Scottish and UK level.

Key stakeholders including the national economic agencies will join the three Ayrshire Councils, businesses and the third sector to develop a unified vision for the area aimed at setting a bold approach to transforming the economy. Staff from the Councils and the other key partners will work together in a joint partnership to create new and innovative ways of working and bring fresh expertise and resources to the area.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this new approach.

“The Ayrshire economy has lagged behind for far too long now. It is unacceptable, and we hope the Regional Partnership will enable us to move Ayrshire forward.

“We have worked really closely with our colleagues in East and South Ayrshire over a number of years now. All the work on the Ayrshire Growth Deal has cemented relations and put us in a strong position to hit the ground running with the Partnership.

“This is the economic vehicle which can drive our economy forward.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said “It’s in the interests of the whole of Ayrshire to get right behind these proposals. For too long we have lagged behind other regions with similar demographics in terms of being able to attract jobs and investment to our areas.

“Ayrshire is a sleeping giant in economic terms – but in order to awaken our full potential we need to change our approach. Doing more of the same will only generate the more of the same, but we have the potential to achieve so much more and our Regional Partnership proposals give us a real opportunity to readdress the balance.

“Our individual Economic Development services are performing well, but this imaginative plan to merge all of our business facing services across Ayrshire would give us a stronger voice in shaping economic strategies, greater level of influence nationally to draw investment and resources from a wider range of partners and the best possible support for businesses who want to grow, invest and create jobs here.”

Councillor Brian McGinley, Depute Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “We’re committed to making the most of our local economy to ensure it is strong, successful, robust and supports jobs, growth, investment and regeneration that really deliver for our people and communities.

“The new Ayrshire Regional Partnership will help us achieve this for all of Ayrshire and will provide a solid framework for working with national agencies and making better use of resources to deliver the maximum impact for our area and really add value to what we do.

“It will also be an important vehicle as we continue to progress our ambitions for the Ayrshire Growth Deal and build on the positive input from the Scottish Government and the UK Government – seen most recently in the Prime Minister’s comments in Parliament this week regarding the importance of the Growth Deal.

“Working with our partners in East and North Ayrshire, we want to make the most of the terrific potential we have here in Ayrshire, and the new Partnership will help us do just that.”

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Friday, 22 June 2018

Another big winner for trainer Mike Smith at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

MIKE Smith, who trains just 10 miles from Ayr Racecourse, produced a 28-1 surprise winner at his local track last week when Glasses Up won the Ayrshire Cancer Support “Confined” Novice Stakes over one mile two furlongs.


Having only his second run, the three year old, formerly trained in Ireland by Joseph O'Brien, showed a turn of foot to collar Home Before Dusk and win by a neck in the hands of Paddy Mathers.

A delighted Mike said: “He ran here two weeks ago, but we didn’t really know if he would win this. He only cost me £2,000, and he’s a good horse who we should have some fun with.”

It was a double on the day for jockey Mathers who rode Society Queen to win the opening six furlong novice auction stakes at long odds-on of 1-4 for trainer Richard Fahey.

Another double winning jockey was Harrison Shaw, who was successful on Perfect Words, 7-1, for trainer Marjorie Fife in the aurshirecs.org Handicap, and followed up on Economic Crisis, a 12-1 chance for Alan Berry in the Volunteer To Help Ayrshire Cancer Support Handicap.

The feature race of the afternoon, The Ayrshire Cancer Support James Bond Ball was won rather cosily by 9-2 joint favourite Alemaratalyoum for Dumfriesshire based trainer Iain Jardine and jockey Jamie Gormley.

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Have your say on the future of Ayr town centre

Ayr Renaissance and South Ayrshire Council are staging two public exhibitions to let people have their say on ways to transform Ayr town centre.


The exhibitions running in Ayr Town Hall on Monday 18 June and Wednesday 20 June from 3:30pm – 7:30pm will explore ways to make the most of Ayr’s streets, squares and open spaces, transforming them for the benefit of locals and visitors.

Urban design experts, led by Ironside Farrar, will be on hand to discuss ideas and capture feedback particularly in relation to improving Burns Statue Square and finding a use for the empty site called Affleck’s Block behind the town hall.


How can Burns Statue Square (pictured above) be turned into an iconic gateway leading to the heart of the town? What can be done to make use of derelict sites such as Affleck’s Block?

The exhibitions are a chance for people to comment on possible solutions and introduce their own ideas too.  The main themes to be explored during the exhibitions will be accessibility, movement and activity and other ways to make the most of Ayr town centre.

Information gathered during the exhibitions will be used to develop a public realm strategy for Ayr town centre with a view to securing funding for possible projects.

Councillor Brian McGinley, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “The exhibition in Ayr Town Hall is an opportunity for people to comment on concepts and designs which will transform Ayr’s public spaces.

“This is very much a partnership approach, so we want to hear from people interested in putting their mark on the continued regeneration of Ayr town centre.”

James Knox Chair of Ayr Renaissance said: “Our role is to develop a vision and a masterplan for these key locations. It’s vital that the people of Ayr get involved at this early stage of the process so that their thoughts and ideas can become part of the solution to the regeneration of Ayr town centre. I urge everyone who loves Ayr to make it to the exhibitions.”

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Ayr Racecourse and Western House come out top

By: Iain Ferguson

AYR Racecourse and Western House Hotel have been voted the best in Scotland.


They beat off strong competition to win two prestigious honours at the third 2018 Scottish Hospitality Awards held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

The Racecourse won Sports Venue of the Year while Western House was crowned Hotel of the Year after first winning the regional category for the south west.

The finalists in the Sports Venue included Hampden Park, Celtic Park, Ibrox Park, Hamilton Racecourse and Murrayfield Stadium.

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.

“When you consider the very many fine hotels there are throughout Scotland, for Western House to win overall Hotel of the Year is an outstanding achievement and a credit to the staff.

“The honour of being voted Sports Venue of the Year is a major coup for the Racecourse team given the incredibly high standard of the major sporting venues there are in Scotland. We are proud that both the Racecourse and Western House have been recognised in this way.”

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Thursday, 31 May 2018

Ayr accountancy firm Sinclair Scott joins Campbell Dallas

Ayr-based Sinclair Scott, a long-established independent accountancy firm stretching back more than 100 years, has joined Campbell Dallas.


[Pictured L-R: Chris Horne, Managing Partner at Campbell Dallas; 
Andrew Sinclair and Stephen Wilkie, Partners at Sinclair Scott.]

The deal will see all 20 staff and 2 Partners transfer to Campbell Dallas, and add around £1.3m of fee income per annum. Campbell Dallas acquired Kilmarnock-based White & Co in October 2016, and is now one of the largest full-service accountancy firms in Ayrshire with a staff and Partner complement of 38.

The deal with Sinclair Scott is Campbell Dallas’ first following the merger with Baldwins in October 2017, when the firm announced plans to drive growth in Scotland by a combination of acquisitions and organic expansion.

Sinclair Scott provides a broad range of accountancy, advisory, tax and compliance services to a mix of owner managed businesses, community enterprises, entrepreneurs, and private individuals. The firm has a strong client base in the charities, rural, farming and healthcare sectors.

Chris Horne, managing partner of Campbell Dallas said the acquisition was an exciting move for both firms: “Sinclair Scott is a highly respected local firm with a long history of advising businesses and private clients, and we are delighted to welcome them to Campbell Dallas. The deal provides us with further scale and reach to expand our client base throughout Ayrshire and the South West of Scotland, as well as building on our sectoral expertise within the medical, dental and rural sectors. It also provides our staff access to rewarding career opportunities across our growing business.

Andrew Sinclair, Partner at Sinclair Scott added: “Joining Campbell Dallas presents an exciting opportunity for our clients as we can now offer a full range of advisory services together with access to specialist technical knowledge in areas such as international tax, VAT, corporate finance, banking and re-structuring. The move will also enable significant investment in IT, providing clients with access to the latest online portals and platforms that comply with HMRC’s focus on ‘Making Tax Digital’. It will remain ‘business as usual’ for our clients, many of whom have been with Sinclair Scott for several decades, but we can now offer them access to the resources of one of Scotland’s most ambitious accountancy firms.”

Campbell Dallas is one of Scotland’s largest local accountancy firms, with over 300 partners and staff working from offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Perth, Stirling, and Kilmarnock. Services cover audit and assurance, business and banking advisory, tax compliance and consulting, VAT, business recovery, insolvency and corporate finance. Industry expertise includes Family Businesses, Rural, Healthcare, Food and Drink, Brewing and Distilling, Construction and Professional Services. In October 2017 Campbell Dallas became part of the CogitalGroup, an international business services group through a merger with Baldwins, which included Springfords in Edinburgh.

Sinclair Scott is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

HALO Scotland partners with Onecom to connect Kilmarnock development to the world

The HALO Scotland Kilmarnock urban regeneration project has teamed up with Onecom, the UK’s leading independent provider of business-to-business telecommunications, in a partnership that will ensure the HALO development is among the most connected in the country when it opens its doors in 2020.


As part of the innovative agreement, Onecom, one of the fastest growing telecoms companies in the UK, will use its Belfast office to establish its Scottish operational and sales hub within The HALO’s Enterprise & Innovation Centre.

The HALO Scotland Kilmarnock is one of four HALO developments planned for the UK. Onecom’s office in Belfast, which is a proposed city for a future HALO, will play a key role in delivering the telecoms to all of these developments, managing all future HALO projects and servicing the needs of all tenants on a national scale.

In addition, Onecom will:

Encourage and enable everyone within The HALO development to access the latest telecommunication technologies, empowering entrepreneurs to realise their full potential

Provide leading-edge products, services and support to ensure that The HALO has state of the art telecommunications and broadband connectivity

* Provide business and domestic telecommunications services to companies and homes located within The HALO

Partner with East Ayrshire schools, Ayrshire College, University of West of Scotland and other educational establishments to enhance the employability of young people by providing specialist technical input to student learning and practical skills development.


[Pictured: Marie Macklin, Founder and Executive Chair of the 
HALO Group, and Paul Lawther, Head of Onecom Northern Ireland.]

Marie Macklin, Founder and Executive Chair of The HALO Group, said: “Onecom has demonstrated amazing enthusiasm and energy in their approach to this partnership, and I am confident that with them on board The HALO Scotland will be the most connected development in the country.  Onecom is the leading innovative telecommunications company in Northern Ireland and their support has been crucial in also establishing a base in Belfast for HALO. This partnership demonstrates the benefits of our multi-site approach to developing The HALO concept.”

Gary Deans, Enterprise Director for The HALO Scotland, said: “Telecommunications has never been more important than it is in the 21st century. and the sector is developing rapidly, at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution, the digital revolution. I am confident that through this partnership with Onecom we can ensure that The HALO and everyone located within the development have access to the latest telecommunications products and services.”

Darren Ridge, Chief Executive Officer of Onecom said: “To describe The HALO Scotland as ‘exciting’ is very much an understatement. Regeneration projects such as these are bold, brave and very necessary in these straitened times; Onecom is proud and privileged to contribute both its technology knowhow and business expertise.”


[Pictured: Marie Macklin, Founder and Executive Chair of the 
HALO Group, and Paul Lawther, Head of Onecom Northern Ireland.]

The HALO Kilmarnock is an inspired and imaginative brown-field regeneration initiative located on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. It is being shaped as a multi-faceted development that will create a unique urban park with dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, and leisure opportunities and lifestyle quarter. The development will also include a light manufacturing facility and private rental accommodation for key workers.

The development is one of four HALO projects planned for the UK that are being seen as catalysts for urban regeneration. The next HALO project is proposed for Belfast, with Wales and the North West of England to follow. It is envisaged that The HALO Scotland will connect through road and rail infrastructure directly to the Northern Powerhouse, creating economic benefits across the wider area.

The HALO Scotland will:

Contribute £120m of GDP to the Scottish economy annually

Create 1,400+ direct jobs

Support 630 construction jobs.
Posted by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.




Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Trainer Olly Murphy saddles a treble at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

TRAINER Olly Murphy made the 650 mile round trip from his Warwickshire base pay off by saddling a treble at Ayr’s May Jumps meeting last Monday.

First up was Miles To Milan, a 6-4 chance, in the Book Direct At Western House Hotel Beginners' Chase. Jockey Aidan Coleman settled him in the back and he got the better of odds on favourite Clondaw Kaempfer in the home straight to win by a comfortable length and a quarter.


[Pictured: Miles to Milan, one of three winners for trainer Olly Murphy and jockey Aidan Coleman at Ayr Racecourse on Monday.]

The Coleman - Murphy combination doubled up with Weebill (5-6 fav) landing the Get Daily Tips at Racinguk.com Novices' Hurdle by seven lengths from Bialco.

The hat trick was completed for both trainer and jockey when Finawn Bawn won the concluding national hunt flat race at odds of 9-4.

Brian Hughes, named earlier in the day as the new number one rider for the powerful Donald McCain stable, celebrated by riding a double.

He gave Return Ticket (11-10 fav) an ultra-confident ride in Division One off the Book Now for the Scottish Sun Raceday Maiden Hurdle to win comfortably, and then followed up in division two of the maiden hurdle on 20-1 shot Shankill Castle for trainer Mike Smith.

Mike said afterwards: " Brian is the best jockey in the north, if not the whole of the UK. I’ll use him when he’s available, and I hope I can help him be champion jockey one day.”

The opening race on the card, a two mile five furlong handicap hurdle, was won by Final Reminder, 10-1, for Fife trainer Nick Alexander and jockey Grant Cockburn.

Flat racing makes it bow for the year at the track on Tuesday 22 May and Wednesday 23 May with May Raceday followed by Tennent’s Raceday.

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.