The Top Races at the Festival

THE WILLIAM HILL AYR GOLD CUP (Heritage Handicap)

SCOTLAND’S richest horse race over the flat with £200,000 in prize-money in 2017 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. Last year’s race was won by Brando who has since won  a Group 3 at Newmarket.


Last year’s 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.


Last year’s 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.


Last year’s 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.


Last year’s 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 Harry Rosebery Stakes, run over five furlongs, is a very historical race with previous winners include  Quiet Reflection who has since gone on to win two Group 1s. Last year Keith Dalgleish sent out Clem Fandango to win the coveted prize.


Last Year’s 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 since last year his held on the opening 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 Godolphin.


Last year’s winner SECRET NUMBER (6-1), trained by SAEED BIN SUROOR  and ridden by DANNY TUDHOPE.


THE AL MAKTOUM CUP ARRAN SCOTTISH FILLIES’ SPRINT STAKES (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 22. 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.


Last Year’s Winner SNOANO (13-2), trained by TIM EASTERBY and ridden by DAVID ALLAN


THE WILLIAM HILL AYRSHIRE HANDICAP

Run between  the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup and the William Hill Silver Cup this mile handicap is always a hotly contested affair which last year was won by Morando for the powerful Roger Varian yard.


Last year’s winner MORANDO (3-1), trained by ROGER VARIAN and ridden by HARRY BENTLEY.

 

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