The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Coral Scottish Grand National promises
to be a weekend to remember

A WEEKEND to remember! The Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse on Friday and Saturday promises to be an unforgettable feast of racing and entertainment.

Advance ticket sales for the two days are at an all time high and it’s expected that more than 25,000 racegoers will descend on the course.

It will be a very important week for the ‘new boys’ at Ayr Racecourse - general manager Geoff Green and executive chef Duncan McKay, who will be working at their first Coral Scottish Grand National.

Geoff will oversee the 800 staff who will be working at the course and took up his post at Ayr after three years in charge of nine restaurants in Dubai and Oman and a stint with The Leadership Trust in Herefordshire.

Geoff said : “Preparation is the key, and we have left no stone unturned in a bid to ensure everything runs smoothly. I am looking forward greatly to the weekend, and am surrounded by a great management team who have a great deal of experience between them.

“We are expecting record crowds over the two days, and hopefully the weather will hold up.

Executive chef Duncan McKay has been at the course for almost two years, but this will be his first National as the man in charge of the kitchens.

He will head a team of 30 chefs and supervise the preparation of 4000 meals.

Duncan's shopping list for the two days includes

2,500 chickens
4,500 Scotch pies
100 kilos of sausages
400 sides of Scottish salmon
2000 apples

Duncan’s CV includes stints as head chef at the Oran Mor and Puppet Theatre in Glasgow and a spell in France, but he is greatly anticipating this weekend’s big meeting.

“I am passionate about my food, and whether I’m preparing a meal for four or catering for 4,000 I put in the same painstaking preparation,” said Duncan.

More than 70 bars and restaurants will be open on course dispensing 52,000 pints of beer and lager, 5000 bottles of beer, 2100 bottles of champagne 2000 bottles of wine and 840 bottles of vodka.

In addition to 15 great races over the weekend there is some fantastic entertainment featuring a concert from The Saw Doctors after racing in the Ayrshire Suite on Friday and appearances from Reload in the Horseshoe Bar on Friday and Saturday and Waterfront in the Ayrshire Suite on Saturday.

And the message for men attending this weekend’s Coral Scottish Grand National meeting is to dress up and look their best.

For Slater Menswear are putting up a fabulous £300 prize for the Best Dressed Man on Saturday and judges will be out in force to pick the winner.

Slater Menswear Ayr branch manager Jack Blades is delighted to be sponsoring the prize which is £300 of Slater’s vouchers and he said: “We have been involved with various events at Ayr Racecourse for the past few years, and we are excited to be having a Best Dressed Man contest at the Coral Scottish Grand National.”

The winner will be announced during the afternoon.

For more information go online at or call 0870-850566.



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