The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Provost Moonie welcomes Lichtenfels Twinning Association to Prestwick

Fifteen members of the Lichtenfels Twinning Association in Germany visited Ayrshire this week in order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their town’s twinning with Prestwick. 

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie hosted a coffee morning for the visitors, including Monica Faber, the president of Lichtenfels Town Twinning Association.

Over the past 40 years, strong friendships have been formed as a result of the twinning. 

[Pictured: Lichtenfels in Bavaria, Germany.]

There have been numerous exchanges and visits to attend festivals and events.

There have also been trips to promote culture, learning, tourism and to stimulate business links between the two countries.

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


Lichtenfels on Facebook

The Lichtenfels website.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Multi-million pound upgrade of Trump Turnberry is officially underway

Trump Turnberry has officially closed the doors to its hotel building and Ailsa course as The Trump Organization commences its £200m renovation of this iconic golf resort. 

The highly anticipated upgrade of the historic 1906 hotel includes a complete renovation, restoration and remodelling of all guestrooms, suites, corridors, restaurants and public spaces. 

Additionally, Trump Turnberry will soon boast a 500 person grand ballroom which will be the finest of its kind. 

Changes to the great Ailsa Championship course are also now underway starting with the dramatic renovation of the 9th hole into what is anticipated to be one of the greatest par 3 holes anywhere the world. 

The Trump Organization’s Executive Vice President Eric Trump commented: “My father and I have assembled a world-class team consisting of the best architects, contractors and restoration specialists. When completed, Trump Turnberry will be the most luxurious hotel anywhere in the UK and beyond.

“Having already completed vast renovations to the magnificent golf clubhouse and select public areas, we are thrilled to move into the second phase of our major renovation.” 

Trump Turnberry is working with Fife-based project management company Hardies and has appointed ISG plc, one of the most prestigious contractors in the UK, to carry out this iconic renovation.  ISG has an impressive track record and was carefully selected by The Trump Organization from a record number of bidders, all who competed diligently to be a part of this incredible project.  

The Turnberry Lighthouse will also undergo dramatic and exciting changes with the creation of the highly anticipated Presidential Suite, which will provide unprecedented views of Ailsa Craig and the Firth of Clyde. The brand new halfway house, located within the lighthouse, will be spectacular and, when completed, will be the most iconic in all of golf. 

Throughout the nine month renovation, the brand new world-class golf club house, unveiled in June 2015, is open for business along with The Trump Villas and The Spa at Turnberry.  Tee times are available to members and guests on the Kintyre, a challenging and spectacular 18-hole course --- a favourite among members and locals alike.

Trump Turnberry will re-open in its full glory in June 2016. When completed, this historic asset, one that is home to not only the birthplace of Robert the Bruce but also to four of golf’s most exciting Open Championships including the famed “Duel in the Sun.” 

Trump Turnberry will soon shine brighter than ever before and will provide guests and visitors the highest levels of luxury and quality which are synonymous with the Trump gold standard.   

Trump Turnberry is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Fahey superstar rewrites the record books at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

DON’T Touch rewrote the record books in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday when storming to an impressive win under jockey Tony Hamilton for trainer Richard Fahey.

[Pictured: Don’t Touch wins the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.] 

The horse become the first three year old since Funfair Wane in 2002 to win Scotland’s richest flat race, the first favourite since Coastal Bluff back in 1996 to land the odds and the first unbeaten horse in living memory to lift the Gold Cup. 

It’s hard to believe Don’t Touch hadn’t seen a racecourse until the middle of May this year when he bolted up in a Newcastle maiden. For Richard Fahey to prepare him to land one of the most competitive handicaps in the country just four months later is one of the training feats of all time. 

[Pictured: Don’t Touch’s trainer Richard Fahey 
greets winning horse and jockey Tony Hamilton.]

Poyle Vinnie, ridden by Andrew Mullen eyeballed Don’t Touch inside the final furlong but Tony Hamilton just pressed the button and his mount forged clear to win at 6-1. 

Richard Fahey saddled eight winners over the three days of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, with four of those coming on Saturday, when in addition to Don’t Touch he sent out both Another Touch and Right Touch in the same ownership as the Gold Cup winner, and also got his hands on the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup, courtesy of 18-1 winner Tatlisu. 

Other big winners on Saturday were Scottish for trainer Andrew Balding and jockey David Probert in the William Hill Doonside Cup and Shaden who landed the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes, Scotland’s only Group race for trainer Lady Cecil and jockey Hayley Turner. 

On Friday there was an outstanding performance from Quiet Reflection, trained by Karl Burke and ridden by Graham Lee to win the Shadwell Stud/EBF Harry Rosebery Stakes and Go Far landed the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup for a delighted Alan Bailey and Martin Harley. 

Jim Goldie took home the Kilkerran Cup on Thursday, with Mistiroc given a very positive ride from Fergal Lynch. 

Ayr’s next meeting is on Tuesday when the first race is at 2.10pm and gates open at 12.10pm. For more information call 01292 264179 or go online at 

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.

CKD Galbraith offer for sale a beautiful beach front cottage on the South Ayrshire coast

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Goatsgreen Cottage by Culzean in South Ayrshire. 

Goatsgreen Cottage enjoys an exceptionally beautiful position on the shores of Culzean Bay, with uninterrupted views towards Culzean Castle and Ailsa Craig.

The property dates from the late 18th century, although subsequent extensions, mainly in the 1960s, have transformed the original cottage to a contemporary, if slightly irregular footprint, which takes full advantage of the incredible vista right on its doorstep.  

The nearby villages of Maidens and Dunure are amongst Ayrshire’s prettiest, with sleepy fishing harbours and rocky beaches. The iconic Culzean Castle is within walking distance along the shoreline, and Trump Turnberry Hotel with its championship golf course and spa are just a short drive away. 

The accommodation of Goatsgreen Cottage is mainly on one level, with just two of the five bedrooms on the first floor. The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and doors which open to a sheltered patio.  

There are three main reception rooms and the kitchen has an adjacent breakfasting room as well as a utility room.  In addition there is a self-contained apartment with one bedroom, a living room, kitchen and bathroom.   

Goatsgreen is set within lovely mature gardens of about three acres which extend down to the sandy beach. There is an orchard with a range of fruit trees and a productive vegetable garden. There is also a good sized single stable. A bank of solar panels in the meadow capitalises on the natural light and provides energy for the property as well as a return from the National Grid.   

Offers over £495,000 are being sought. 

PDF available on

CKD Galbraith 
7 Killoch Place 
Ayr KA7 2EA 
Ayrshire, Scotland 

Tel: 01292 268181   
Fax: 01292 292300 

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival Begins

By: Iain Ferguson

Scotland's richest and classiest flat racing festival – the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival begins today (Thursday) at Ayr Racecourse with eight races attracting a total of more than 100 runners.

The feature race  is the Class 2 William Hill Handicap for the Kilkerran Cup and 14 go to post for this including two from the all-conquering David O’Meara yard Awake My Soul, the mount of Phillip Makin and Chancery due to be ridden by stable jockey Danny Tudhope.

Richard Fahey, for whom this Festival is a happy hunting ground, saddles three – Latenightrequest (Tony Hamilton), Imshivalla (Sammy Jo Bell) and Modernism (Paul Hanagan).

Local trainer Mike Smith send out Gworn, under PJ McDonald, looking for a three timer at the track while Jim Goldie has Mistiroc and Fergal Lynch also trying to keep the prize in Scotland.

Another hot contest is the EBF Stallions Scottish Premier Series Fillies’ Handicap and Lamyaa from the Charles Hills yard looks the pick here.

Before racing today the draw for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup takes place in the Owners’ Club at the Racecourse and Robbie Savage, footballer  turned television  pundit and Miss Scotland Mhairi Ferguson will conduct the draw which will be hosted by Racing UK presenter Alex Steedman and screened live on the channel at 11.00 am.

New official beer supplier

Ayr Racecourse has announced Tennent’s as the new official beer sponsor in a five year deal that will see the lager and other associated brands sold throughout Scotland’s premier racecourse.

The exciting new partnership which teams Ayr with the iconic drinks brand will officially launch at the flagship William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival - Scotland’s richest flat racing festival - which runs from today, Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 September.

More than 20,000 people will attend the three day Festival and the many bars throughout the course will be stocking Tennent’s and their associated brands.

It will be the first time in many years the famous lager will be available at the course although historically the Tennent Caledonian Breweries Handicap raced at the track for many years until 1999.

The collaboration will see newly designed Tennent’s branded areas across the site and bar areas.  Signs featuring the iconic red T, specially designed to capture the spirit of a race day, such as ‘Dead HeaT’ and ‘Punter’s FavouriTe’, will adorn the bar areas.  Additional high quality branding and outdoor mobile bar units will be rolled out over the next year to enhance the already high quality on-course experience for visitors. 

Tennent’s join a growing list of major companies to be associated with Ayr Racecourse.

David Brown, managing director of Ayr Racecourse said: “Tennent’s Lager is an iconic Scottish brand and a company we are proud to be welcoming as partners of Ayr Racecourse.  It is fitting that this partnership is being launched at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival – Scotland’s biggest and richest flat racing festival attended by large crowds.  The introduction of Tennent’s Lager and the company’s other brands will definitely be well received by our racegoers.”

Matt Munro, On Trade Sales Director at Wallaces TCB said: “This collaboration between Scotland’s biggest Racecourse and Scotland’s most iconic lager brand is one we’re very proud to be announcing.  We’ve been working closely with the team at Ayr to help make sure the Tennent’s association captures both the spirit of the brand and the meetings and events it will be at the heart of.  We’re very excited to be launching this partnership at the prestigious Ayr Gold Cup and wish everyone attending a fantastic meeting – with many more to come.”

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, 10 September 2015

House price growth in Scotland gathers pace as market conditions tighten

Acceleration in Scottish house price growth was reinforced by a failure of supply to pick up during August, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey. 

Prices continued to increase last month, with a net balance of 43% more respondents reporting price rises and firm growth being seen across all areas of the UK. Further RICS analysis, using ONS data as the comparator, indicates that prices now look likely to rise in the region of 6% across the UK over the course of 2015, compared with 3% predicted at the beginning of the year. The strongest price growth is forecast in Northern Ireland, where prices are now anticipated to rise by 11% throughout 2015.  Scotland look set align with the UK trend (5% forecast), with 28% more chartered surveyors expecting prices to continue rising in Scotland over the next three months. 

RICS Scotland director Sarah Speirs, said:  “Given current market conditions, the latest data unsurprisingly shows house prices continuing to rise, and at an accelerating pace. As the Scottish Government increases investment in initiatives such as Help to Buy, which further stimulates demand while failing to address the critical issue of housing supply, more needs to be done to increase and expand housing supply. 

“Despite reported price growth, the agreed sales balance in Scotland edged upwards and demand remains steady, but a more robust recovery in activity is continuing to be held back in part by the lack of stock on the market.”

At the national level, new buyer enquiries increased for a fifth month in succession, with 22% of respondents reporting a rise in demand, led by significant improvements in the West Midlands, Wales and the North West. In Scotland the increase in August was more modest but this follows much stronger increases in demand through the back end of 2014 and the early part of this year. New instructions, however, have yet to record any meaningful upturn since the middle of 2013, pushing average stock levels to record lows across the UK. 

RICS economist Michael Hanley, commented: “While the UK housing market has seen some substantial volatility in demand over the last 18 months, the most consistent feature has been a distinct shortage of new instructions. With respondents reporting another fall in appraisals during August, and looking at general market conditions, we have no reason to believe this will change in the near term. Therefore, despite the fact that demand has been picking up in recent months, we have lowered our forecast for transactions for 2015 from 1.25 million to 1.2 million.”

In the lettings market, tenant demand in Scotland remained firm, outstripping the modest pick-up in new landlord instructions once more in the process. Accordingly, rents are expected to increase in the near term, with 20% of respondents predicting a rise in rents during the next three months.

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Top trainers plot Ayr raid

By: Iain Ferguson 

MOST of the leading training operations in the country are planning a massive Ayr raid, with powerful teams of horses heading from the south to plunder the top prize-money on offer at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse later this month.

[The £50,000 Shadwell Stud EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes is  
the target for Al Shaqab’s Easton Angel, trained by Michael Dods.] 

Godolphin, Hamdan Al Maktoum, Qatar Racing and Al Shaqab Racing have so far this season won more than £8 million in prize-money between them, and will be looking to add to that by taking some of the Ayr riches at the Festival which runs from Thursday 17 September until Saturday 19 September. 

Al Qatar Racing won the Group 3 William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes last year with the Ann Duffield trained Dark Reckoning, and will be bidding to retain it with Thursday’s Salisbury winner La Rioja from the Henry Candy yard. This filly looks an exciting prospect, and connections are keen for her to land Scotland’s only group race, which has £65,000 in the prize fund. 

The £50,000 Shadwell Stud EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes is the target for Al Shaqab’s Easton Angel, trained by Michael Dods, while the £180,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is the race that Hamdan Al Maktoum has pencilled in for both Mubtaghaa, trained by Willie Haggas, or Tanzeel, from the Charles Hills yard. 

And the famous blue silks of Godolphin will be represented in several races at the Festival, including the £65,000 William Hill Doonside Cup which they have won several times over the past 10 years. 

Top Yorkshire based trainers Richard Fahey, David O’Meara and Mark Johnston are all sending powerful strings of horses to Ayr, and Fahey trains Don’t Touch, the current 10/1 ante post favourite for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup. 

The indications are that the 2015 Festival will boast the highest quality of runners ever, and that can be attributed to the massive £660,000 prize money on offer. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “We took the decision to significantly increase prize-money at the Festival this year in the hope of attracting some leading horses from top stables and boosting the quality of runners. 

“Already various trainers and owners have been stating their horses will be coming to Ayr later this month, and this should greatly add to the spectacle and quality of Scotland’s most prestigious Flat Festival.” 

Top youngsters heading to Ayr 

SOME of the country’s leading juvenile horses will be heading to Ayr later this month with trainers eyeing some of the excellent prize money on offer at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival. 

There are no fewer than six races for the youngsters over the three days (17-19 September) including the Group 3 William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes with £65,000 in the prize fund, the Shadwell Stud EBF Stallions Harry Roseberry Stakes, a Listed Race worth £50,000 and two valuable nursery handicaps. 

Michael Dods has the Harry Rosebery mapped out for Easton Angel, who runs in the famous Al Shaqab Racing colours. The horse came second in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and could come up against the Martyn Meade trained Kurland who finished fourth at Ascot. 

And Ann Duffield, the North Yorkshire based trainer, has stated she has an Ayr race in mind for her flying filly Rosina, and it’s likely to be the Shadwell Stud Nursery Handicap on Friday 18 September. A winner of two nursery handicaps at Ripon and Beverley, this will be a step up in class for the filly, but one she is entitled to take. 

Henry Candy said after his filly La Rioja won the Group 3 Dick Poole Fillies Stakes at Salisbury that the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes would be her next target, and Richard Fahey, who sent out subsequent dual Group 1 winner Garswood to win the Harry Rosebery Stakes in 2012, and who has a good record with two year-olds at Ayr, is likely to aim Mayfair Lady to the Firth of Clyde - Scotland’s only Group race. 

Leading owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, who is sponsoring four races on the Friday, is certain to have several runners in the two year-old races sporting his famous blue and white silks, and will be keen to land the Harry Rosebery Stakes. 

Ayr have invested £180,000 across the two year old races at the Festival, and racecourse managing director David Brown said: “As a track we are proud to be able to say that horses that have gone on to have distinguished careers winning Group 1s were introduced to racing at Ayr. 

“This year we have upped the prize-money for some of the two year old races and it looks as if we will be rewarded by seeing some of the UK and Ireland’s leading juveniles in action at Scotland’s flagship flat festival.” 

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.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

2460 visitors and rising at Next of Kin exhibition at Rozelle

The Next of Kin Exhibition at South Ayrshire Council’s Rozelle House in Ayr has attracted more than 2,460 people since it opened in July. The exhibition gives visitors a great insight into how the First World War affected South Ayrshire and Scotland. 

[Pictured: Making poppies – it’s harder 
than it looks, but Councillors have a go.]

The latest activity as part of the exhibition was a poppy craft session. This free activity was an opportunity for visitors to learn how to knit, crochet and create poppies. 

[Pictured: – Poppies take shape.]

The scarlet poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day as the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields of northern France and Flanders in 1914.

[Pictured: The result of all that concentration.]

Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder said: “The Next of Kin exhibition is both inspiring and humbling and pays tribute to those people from South Ayrshire and Scotland whose lives were affected by the First World War. 

“The poppy is a very powerful symbol and was adopted by The Royal British Legion as a focus for their appeal to support people who have served in the British Armed Forces. 

“Making the poppies was an amazing experience although it was not as easy as it looked! I would encourage everyone to go along and see the exhibition, you will not be disappointed.”

The exhibition, which runs until 28 September, includes objects from official and private sources, including items passed from generation to generation which are of immense sentimental value to their owners. 

The exhibition was previously on display at the National War Museum in Edinburgh Castle and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the National Museum of Scotland as well as the Scottish Government. It looks in detail at individual stories, the impact of the war on servicemen and women and their families back home in Scotland. Objects on display include postcards and letters, photographs, medals and memorial plaques. 

Many related activities are taking place such as an opportunity to trace your family history back to WW1.

For more information about the exhibition or the related activities CLICK HERE. 

The exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 12 noon to 5pm. 

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

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Ayr Racecourse looks forward to Gold Cup Festival

By: Iain Ferguson

THE David Elsworth trained Speculative Bid has been given top weight of 9st 13lb for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup to be run on Saturday 19 September at Ayr Racecourse. 

The four year-old’s latest run with a mighty impressive second to Fadhayyil in the City Of York Stakes at York last month, and if his astute trainer elects to send him to run in the £180,000 race at Ayr he will set a very high standard, and sponsors William Hill rate him a 16/1 chance. 

Second top weight with 9st 10lb is the Irish raider Maarek winner of the Beverley Bullet Sprint on Saturday over five furlongs, while the Hamdan Al Maktoum owned, Barry Hills trained Markaz is on 9st 9lbs. 

Other notable horses include Jim Goldie’s Jack Dexter on 9st 8lbs and Don’t Touch (pictured above, front right), winner of the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon recently, and who is 10/1 ante post favourite with Hills. 

Latest odds from William Hill – 10 Don’t Touch, 14 Tanzeel, Mubtaghaa, 16 Speculative Bid, Golden Steps, Huntsmans Close, Rene Mathis, Buckstay, Highland Acclaim. 

SOME of the most powerful stables in horse racing have entries for the 2015 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup. 

A total of 252 horses entered the £180,000 race, and this number will eventually be whittled down to 25 runners in the Gold Cup and the same number in both the Silver and Bronze Cups. 

Hamdan Al Maktoum holds three of the highest rated entries in Markaz, trained by Barry Hills, Tanzeel from the Charlie Hills yard and the William Haggas trained Mubtaghaa. 

And the all-powerful Godolphin operation have a top entry with Portamento, trained by Charlie Appleby. 

Top northern trainer Richard Fahey has 25 entries including Heaven’s Guest, Alben Star (pictured above) and Farlow while last year’s winning stable of David O’Meara could be represented by Algar Lad. 

#Jim Goldie’s Jack Dexter is hoping to become the first Scottish trained winner of the race since Roman Warrior in 1975 and will be one of the top weighted. The Uplawmoor trainer will be praying for soft ground at Ayr come 19 September.  

THE finest three days of flat racing held in Scotland for many years is lined up for the 2015 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse, providing some of the best action the sport of kings has to offer. 

There is more than £660,000 in prize-money, three major sprint handicaps including the richest flat race in Scotland – the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup - a Group 3 contest and two Listed Races and many more valuable contests. 

The Ayr Racecourse management team has invested heavily in the fixture, which runs from 17 – 19 September,  and hopes to be rewarded with many leading stables from the south of England and Ireland vying with the leading northern and Scottish yards for the top prizes. 

Such is the standard of horse running in the race most of the runners are rated around 100 or higher in the handicap and even the consolation races the William Hill Silver and Bronze Cups will boast some top sprinters. 

The middle day of the Festival, William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day, has attracted sponsorship from Shadwell Stud owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, who is sure to send several horses sporting his famous blue and white silks to plunder some of the spoils. 

Friday’s feature is the Shadwell Stud EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes, a Listed Race,  which has produced some notable winners in previous years including Garswood (pictured above) in 2012, who went on to win the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last year 

The main supporting races on the Saturday are the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes – Scotland’s only Group race - the William Hill Doonside Cup, a  Listed Race, and the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup. 

Channel 4 will screen the four principal races on the Saturday and crowds of more than 20,000 are expected over the three days. 

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.