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Ayr is Scotland's leading racecourse and hosts both Flat and National Hunt racing throughout the calendar year.

Ayr is the most westerly course in Great Britain, and it is famous for hosting the Scottish Grand National, as well as the Ayr Gold Cup, which is now the richest sprint handicap race in Europe.

The track is located just an hour away from the city of Glasgow and it is one of five racecourses still in operation in Scotland.

Here's our guide to Ayr racecourse.

WhatAyr Gold Cup Festival
WhereAyr Racecourse, Ayr
WhenThursday 21st - Saturday 23rd September 2023
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV & Racing TV

Key Races at Ayr

- Rothesay Stakes
- Land O'Burns Fillies Stakes
- Harry Rosebery Stakes
- Arran Scottish Fillies' Sprint Stakes
- Doonside Cup
- Firth of Clyde Stakes
- Ayr Gold Cup

- Scottish Grand National
- Scottish Champion Hurdle
- Future Champion Novices' Chase

Ayr's highest-profile jumps race is the Scottish Grand National, which takes place over four miles in April.

It is usually held a week after the Grand National at Aintree, and only Red Rum has completed the Aintree-Ayr double in the same season.

Both the Scottish Champion Hurdle and Future Champion Novices' Chase are Grade 2 races, while on the Flat, the Firth of Clyde Stakes is for two-year-olds only, at Group 2 level.

However, the Ayr Gold Cup is one of the most iconic sprint handicaps in Europe and it has been won by the likes of Roman Warrior, Lochsong and Coastal Bluff.

Track Layout

Flat races at Ayr take place over distances from five furlongs to two miles, one furlong, and the track is a left-handed oval of 12 furlongs, including a half-mile run-in.

The course is generally flat, with some gentle undulations, but all sprints are held over the straight course.

Ayr's course is particularly wide, so it can accommodate large fields of up to 28 runners.

For National Hunt racing, Ayr will lay out six hurdles, three on either side of the bend, or for chase events runners jump over nine fences, including two with an open ditch.

Due to its coastal location, Ayr does have to battle with the wet, windy and cold weather, but the excellent drainage on site means they can often host meetings in the most challenging conditions.

Visiting Ayr

Thanks to its busy schedule, visitors can attend meetings across the year, but tickets are at a premium for the Scottish Grand National and Ayr Gold Cup.

Ayr tries to cater for people from all walks of life and, while visitors are encouraged to dress smartly for the major meetings, there is no formal dress code.

Ticket prices are relatively cheap and it is accessible via car, train and ferry.

As Scotland's premium track, plenty of money has been invested to improve the facilities. Visitors can now use two fine-dining restaurants and stay at an award-winning four-star hotel, while the paddock area is just as impressive.

Those wanting to visit a Scottish racecourse should luck no further than Ayr, as it has something for all the family, while hosting some of the most prestigious races in the UK.

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