The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Irish target Coral Scottish Grand National

By: Iain Ferguson  

IRISH training legend Willie Mullins has three entries in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse, as he plots to win Scotland’s richest jumps prize. 

[Pictured: On His Own (nearest the camera) is one of the 
Willie Mullins entries for the Coral Scottish Grand National.]

They are the Andrea and Graham Wylie owned On His Own, fifth in last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, Perfect Gentleman, fourth in the National Hunt Chase at the same track, and Are Ya Right Chief, who was well down the field in the cross=country race in the Cotswolds. 

Rivage d’Or from the Tony Martin yard - winner of that race - is entered, as is Jim Dreaper‘s Goonyella, winner of the Midlands Grand National. The Irish account for 20 of the 93 entries in the £210,000 contest, which is run on 18April 18. 

Paul Nicholls holds six entries, some also entered for the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, and Sire Collonges would appear to be his most likely Ayr Runner.  Other leading trainers with entries include Nicky Henderson who could be represented by Hadrian’s Approach, Jonjo O’Neill, Alan King, David Pipe and Gordon Elliott. 

Tony McCoy who could well make his last ever appearance on a Scottish racecourse on Scottish Grand National day will have several possible horses to ride as JP McManus holds a few entries.  

Top Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell’s intended runner is Lie Forrit, owned by the late Campbell Gillies’s mother and grandfather, which would be a very popular winner with the crowd. 

Coral spokesman Simon Clare said: “We are thrilled with the quality and quantity of the entries for The Coral Scottish Grand National. The race is always one of the top five biggest betting turnover races of the year and attracts one of the largest Channel 4 audiences, so can rightly be regarded as one of Racing’s crown jewels.” 

Latest betting from Coral  

10 Gallant Oscar, 12 Broadway Buffalo, Catching On, Indian Castle, 14 Cause Of Causes, Embracing Change, If In Doubt, Lie Forrit, The Last Samuri, 16 Al Co, Balthazar King, Benvolio, Cogry, Godsmejudge, Milborough, Sego Success, Trustan Times, 20 Hadrian’s Approach, Heathfield, Houblon Des Obeaux, No Secrets, On His Own, Perfect Gentleman, Rivage D’Or, Royale Knight, Sam Winner, Soll, The Package, Unioniste, 25 Bar  

The main supporting race on Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday is the £100,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle, and the highest rated of the 44 entries is Irving from the Paul Nicholls yard. 

Other notables at this stage include Nicky Richards’ Glingerburn, winner of all four of his hurdle races, including a Class 1 at Kelso last time out, Evan Williams’s 2012 winner of the race Court Minstrel, Sign Of A Victory from the Nicky Henderson stable and John Ferguson’s Sea Lord. 

The standard of horse running in the race, which is now in the top 5 richest handicap hurdles run in Britain, looks like being the highest ever with Irving rated 157 and 23 horses rate 140 or higher. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “The quality of entries for the Coral Scottish Grand National and QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle is exceptional. 

“To see horses from most of the leading trainers including Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Jonjo O’Neill, Alan King and of course Willie Mullins entered is extremely satisfying. 

“The Scottish Grand National has attracted some leading Irish entries and, as it’s a race that they have never won, it adds to the intrigue.  

“We have invested a good deal more money in the Scottish Champion Hurdle this year with the help of our sponsors QTS, and have been rewarded with some really classy entries.” 

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.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

ScotHot Awards for Western House chefs

By: Iain Ferguson 

CHEFS at Western House Hotel and Ayr Racecourse recently won honours at the prestigious ScotHot 2015 Awards held in Glasgow. 

[Pictured: Western House Hotel chefs (left to right) 
Sam Shields, Billie White and Paul Cuthbert.] 

Chef de Partie Billie White was the class winner in the Dessert Challenge, winning a silver medal with judges commenting she showed outstanding composure in what was her first ScotHot competition. 

Sam Shields won the Hygiene Award for Chefs, showing skills, knowledge and understanding of HACCP and hygiene standards. A merit award in the Sustainable Fish Dish Seniors competition also went to Sam, Junior Sous Chef in what was his first senior competition. 

Chef de Cuisine Paul Cuthbert was placed fourth, picking up a merit award in the Meat Dish section.  Paul has competed in the ScotHot event since 1985 and has won more than 40 awards at ScotHot, and 20 international awards including the gold medal at the World Culinary Olympics in London in 2000.  

Paul will continue to be involved at ScotHot in a mentoring role to his team of chefs. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “This was a fantastic set of results, and a reward for the team in their pursuit of excellence. 

“Paul, Billie and Sam will be among the chefs spearheading the catering team that will provide hospitality food to more than 20,000 during the Coral Scottish Grand National weekend. We are proud of our chefs, and this is further proof of the standards they achieve.” 

The ScotHot Awards Ceremony was held in the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. 

For further information call 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.

Ayrshire declares independence

The newly autonomous state of Ayrshire has issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, and is now a self-governing country separate from the rest of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

An interim ruling junta is now in occupation at County Buildings in Ayr, which will be the new country’s capital, and democratic elections will be held in the next few months.

Customs posts are being set up around the Ayrshire borders, and new Ayrshire passports will be issued to residents.

A statement from the interim ruling junta is expected later this morning Wednesday 1 April.