Thursday, 21 July 2016
Double boost for William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse
By: Iain Ferguson
SCOTLAND’S richest flat racing meeting the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, run at Ayr Racecourse from 15-17 September, received a double boost this week with two major improvements to the three-day extravaganza.
[Pictured: The 2015 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup winner Don’t Touch.]
The first of these is a huge cash injection for the principal race the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup which will boast £200,000 in prize-money (up from £180,000) which makes it the richest flat race ever run in Scotland.
And secondly, the £65,000 William Hill Doonside Cup, a Class 1 Listed Race, will move from the Saturday to the Thursday, becoming the feature race that afternoon and greatly enhancing the racing product on the Festival’s opening day and also meaning there will be a Class 1 contest on each of the three days of the Festival.
The six furlong William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is in the top two sprint handicaps in Europe. Every year the standard of horse competing has risen, and last year’s winner Don’t Touch has since won a Listed race and competed at Group level.
The William Hill Doonside Cup, run over one mile two furlongs, has been won in the past by outstanding horses such as Legerra, Island House and Anna Pavlova and is widely regarded as one of the best middle distance races in Scotland.
[Pictured: Scottish wins the 2015 William Hill Doonside Cup.]
Announcing the changes Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “The class of horse running in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup keeps on improving, and by increasing the prize-money to £200,000 we are hoping to attract even better horses, many of whom will make the step up to Group class.
“The Doonside Cup is a race that is rich in history and one that is supported by some of the most prestigious owners and trainers in the country.
“By switching it to the opening day we feel it can be showcased in a more positive way and the Thursday of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival will be very much Doonside Cup day. It spreads the riches and means we have Listed races on the Thursday and Friday of the Festival and Scotland’s only Group race – the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes on Saturday alongside the Ayr Gold Cup.”
To accommodate the moving of the Doonside Cup, the William Hill Kilkerran Cup a Class 2 handicap over one mile two furlongs will now be run on the Saturday.
In total there will be £680,000 in prize-money across the three days.
For more information, visit the dedicated William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival website at www.ayrgoldcup.co.uk
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.