The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ayr Racecourse sees successful Gold Cup Festival and Ladies Day

By: Iain Ferguson

THOUSANDS flocked to Ayr Racecourse at the weekend for Scotland’s biggest flat racing festival - the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup.

More than 20,000 descended on the track over the three day extravaganza and enjoyed a heady mix of top class sport, entertainment, fun and glamour, plus a visit from Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.

The weather held up, and hotels, bars, restaurants and taxi companies reported one of their best September weekends for many years. And on Saturday the Racecourse reported hospitality was sold out.

The glamour of the occasion was underlined on Friday - Ladies Day - and what a success that proved to be, with more than 5,400 attending.


The excitement grew throughout the afternoon as the big race of the day approached - the William Hill (Ayr) Bronze Cup - because by that time 27 lucky ladies each had a bronze coin and picked the name of a horse from a tombola drum.

All eyes were ion the race as the ladies followed the fortunes of their horse. The lucky winner was Gourock woman Lucy Stuart who had drawn the name of Cheveton from the drum and the horse duly won.

Lucy won a brand new Vauxhall Astra courtesy of Kerr & Smith and Iveco Trucks and was presented with the keys to her prize by Jim Smith (pictured above) of Kerr & Smith who have now backed Ladies Day at Ayr for three years.

Runner up was Prestwick girl Jenna McCrossan who won a Norwegian cruise courtesy of Stewart Travel also long time supporters of Ladies Day.

The fun continued after racing with performances from Jamie ‘Afro’ Archer of X Factor fame and also the highly rated local band Waterfront.

Saturday’s big day with the running of both the William Hill (Ayr) Gold and Silver Cups saw First Minister Alex Salmond appear live from the course on Channel 4’s Morning Line programme before attending dinner and later presenting the Gold Cup.

And the First Minister also spent a considerable amount of time chatting to the huge crowds – more than 12,300 attended on Saturday.

Huge roars echoed round the course when Frankie Dettori steered his horse Redford to victory in the Gold Cup and he later admitted he almost decided to stay at home after forgetting his passport and not being allowed on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Prestwick.

Alex Salmond quipped: “I told Frankie he didn’t need his passport to get into Scotland – he is welcome here anytime.”

The party continued on Saturday with appearances from Madness and Abba tribute acts and the Floorstompers.

Ayr Racecourse Marketing Manager Lindsey Smith said: “We couldn’t have scripted it better with Frankie winning his second successive William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup. The crowds were terrific and the atmosphere was spot on.”

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 07795-565691.

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