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THE WILLIAM HILL AYR GOLD CUP (Heritage Handicap)
Scotland's richest horse race over the flat with £200,000 in prize-money in 2018 and one of the leading sprint handicaps in Europe which is reflected in the high quality of horses that take part. There are few spectacles in sport equal to seeing 25 of the country’s top sprint handicappers hurtling down the six furlong home straight at Ayr. The huge roar that erupts from the stands as the commentator shouts “they’re off” builds into a wall of sound as the finishing line looms for the main protagonists some 70 seconds later. In 2016 the race was won by Brando who has since won a Group 1 at Deauville and two Group 3s at Newmarket.
2016 winner BRANDO (11-1 FAV) trained by KEVIN RYAN and ridden by TOM EAVES
THE WILLIAM HILL FIRTH OF CLYDE STAKES (Group 3)
SCOTLAND’S only group race this six furlong sprint for fillies normally attracts large fields and is always a true test of speed. Some notable winners down the years include Alshadiyah in 2000 and Henry Candy’s brilliant Airwave in 2002. A valuable and prestigious prize for connections to win and Delectation took the honours in 2016 for Bryan Smart.
2016 winner DELECTATION (11-1) trained by BRYAN SMART and ridden by PAUL MULRENNAN
THE WILLIAM HILL AYR SILVER CUP
Such is the massive size of entries received for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup that this consolation race was introduced in 1992 and has established itself in its own right in the ensuing years. There have been some notable winners in the past including Utmost Respect in 2007 – a horse that went on to win a Group 2 and three Group 3s. In 2016 the prize was won by Roudee from the Tom Dascombe yard.
2016 winner ROUDEE (20-1) trained by TOM DASCOME and ridden by RICHARD KINGSCOTE
THE WILLIAM HILL AYR BRONZE CUP
FIRST run in 2009 and now the third major sprint handicap of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival. Run on the Friday - Ladies Day - there’s always a huge amount of interest surrounding the race as ‘experts’ seek to gather hints for the running of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup the following day. In 2016 Marjorie Fife sent out Classic Seniority to win with Danny Tudhope riding.
2016 winner CLASSIC SENIORITY (20-1) trained by MARJORIE FIFE and ridden by Danny Tudhope
SHADWELL STUD/EBF STALLIONS HARRY ROSEBERY STAKES (Class 1 Listed Race)
One of the highlights of William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day, the Shadwell Stud/EBF Harry Rosebery Stakes, run over five furlongs, is a very historical race with previous winners including Quiet Reflection who went on to win two Group 1s before being sold for 2.1 million guineas to begin a new career as a brood mare. In 2016 Keith Dalgleish sent out Clem Fandango to win the coveted prize.
2016 winner Clem Fandango (11-4), trained by KEITH DALGLEISH and ridden by PHILLIP MAKIN
THE WILLIAM HILL DOONSIDE CUP (Class 1 Listed Race)
A real quality horse race that in recent years has switched and is now run on the opening day – renamed Doonside Cup Day – of the Festival. Run over one mile two furlongs this regularly features raiders from the top southern yards and has a roll of honour through the years that includes Geoff Wragg’s Island House (2000 and 2002),the Richard Fahey trained Anna Pavlova (2007) and Scottish, trained by Andrew Balding in 2015 who has since won a Group 3 with the runner up that year Mutakayyef capturing a Group 2. In 2016 Secret Number won for Saeed Bin Suroor giving the Godolphin camp their fifth win in the race since 2004.
2016 winner SECRET NUMBER (6-1), trained by SAEED BIN SUROOR and ridden by DANNY TUDHOPE.
THE AL MAKTOUM CUP ARRAN SCOTTISH FILLIES’ SPRINT STAKES CLASS 1 (LISTED RACE)
The very first running of this Class 1 Listed race will be on William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day on Friday September 21. Run over a brand new distance for the track of 5.5 furlongs and with £50,000 in prize-money this is certain to attract some flying fillies.
THE WILLIAM HILL DOWNLOAD THE APP HANDICAP (for the Kilkerran Cup)
This Class 2 Handicap over one mile two furlongs is raced for on the Saturday of the Festival and normally attracts big fields. Michael Bell trained Allied Powers to win the race in 2008 before the horse went on to land a Group 3 at Deauville later in his career. The powerful Tim Easterby stable trained Snoano to win the 2016 renewal.
2016 Winner SNOANO (13-2), trained by TIM EASTERBY and ridden by DAVID ALLAN
THE WILLIAM HILL SUPPORTS CLIC SARGENT CHAMPION MILE
A Class 2 handicap over a mile formerly known as the Ayrshire Handicap this was won in 2016 by Morando from the powerful Roger Varian yard. Previous winners include the Hamdan Al Maktoum owned Mutasayyid (2015) and Osteopathic Remedy who won in 2012 giving a young Connor Beasley his first ever winner. The prize that year was presented by the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.
2016 winner MORANDO (3-1), trained by ROGER VARIAN and ridden by HARRY BENTLEY.