The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ayr Racecourse holds successful Gold Cup meeting despite the rain

By: Iain Ferguson

THOUSANDS of people headed to Ayr Racecourse recently for the annual three-day extravaganza that is the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival.

And despite some heavy showers on the middle day – William Hill Ladies Day – the weather in the main held up despite a dreadful forecast, and the Festival was voted a great success by the public and racing industry.

The event attracts many visitors to the area, and one such woman was luckier than most. Marketing consultant Debbie Grogan from Sheffield is a keen racegoer, and attended Champagne GH Mumm Ladies Night in August when she was awarded a Bronze Coin and a place in the final of Ladies Day.

On Friday she duly lined up with the other 24 finalists in the Ayrshire Suite, and from the tombola drum drew Coolminx – the subsequent winner of the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup.

Debbie had to endure a photo-finish as Coolminx crossed the line along with stablemate Jeannie Galloway, but in the end she was overjoyed to win.

A delighted Debbie was presented with the keys to the car by Jim Smith of Kerr & Smith, principal sponsors of the Ladies Day competition, and she said: “I am absolutely gobsmacked – never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d win.

“I go racing with my husband all over Britain, and Ayr has always been special to me – now I’ll never ever forget the track and this meeting. I’d like to thank Jim Smith and his company for sponsoring the event. We’ve had a fabulous time, and even if I hadn’t won the car I was still enjoying myself despite the weather.”

Runner-up prize of a fabulous trip to Dubai from Stewart Travel was won by Gillian Wilson from Ayr, who will soon be jetting off to enjoy an unexpected sunshine holiday. Third prize of a piece of jewellery from Alex Cairncross went to Stewarton lady Alana Rafferty.

There was also an added bonus for Jason Hart of Ballater and Michael Goldie of Ayr, who each picked up £300 of Slaters vouchers from Jack Blades, Manager of Slaters in Ayr after being voted the Best Dressed Men on the day.

First Minister Alex Salmond attended on Saturday, and mingled with the crowd throughout the day and took time out to chat to many of the racegoers. The three-day meeting attracted slightly fewer to the course than in previous years – around 19,000 took in the action - but the feedback was very positive.

Lindsey Smith, Sales and Marketing Manager of Ayr Racecourse said: “I have never heard so many positive comments at any meeting. We had a fantastic three days, and, although the weather wasn’t kind to us on Friday, nobody let it dampen their spirits.

“We entertained 200 William Hill employees from all over the UK for their long service awards, and they were all very impressed with everything.”

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

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

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