Only a few racecourses in Scotland offer both National Hunt and Flat races. Ayr racecourse is one of them. This horseracing haven sits on the western Scottish coast.
From Glasgow, it takes approximately one hour to get to the racecourse. The best part is that there are races lined up all year round. That said, racegoers and bettors are guaranteed entertainment as well as a myriad of betting opportunities.
Ayr Racing Tips
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Ayr Racecourse History
Scotland has been home to horse racing for about 900 years. One of the most historic races in England was the Lanark Silver Bell race. Historians say that this race took place back in the 12th or 19th century. By 1824, the Ayr racecourse was already hosting a popular horse race known as the Western Meeting. After a decade, the race prize money had skyrocketed to a staggering £2000.
At one point, it was the jockey’s most coveted race. Since this race was taking place at the racecourse, the number of racegoers grew tremendously. As such, its space was no longer enough.
In 1907, the racecourse opened its doors to fans on the current grounds. Since then, the owners have added several new features to the racecourse, including the Jumps track in 1950.
The organizers of the Scottish National reached a unanimous decision to move the event to the Ayr racecourse. This was after the closure of the Bogside racecourse in Irving.
This racecourse is undoubtedly the best in Scotland. It has always received high ratings from the Racegoers Club. Not once, but a whopping 19 times. Visit Scotland has also deemed it as a five-star tourist attraction repeatedly.
The flat course is oval. And besides being left-handed, it boasts of 12 furlongs and a thrilling half-a-mile run-in. The course is flat with well-distributed undulations. Some of its other impressive qualities include a wide sprint course.
The jump-racing course has about nine fences. In length, it is one and a half miles long. When the horses approach the finishing line, they have to overcome a gentle rise. However, the downhill is steady, and most horses race through it comfortably. This racecourse poses a tremendous challenge for horse racers.
Ayr Main Racing Events
Ayr Gold Cup
The Ayr Gold Cup race is highly revered in the UK. It is a handicap race for thoroughbred horses aged three or more. This race is 6 furlongs long and it takes place in September, each year.
The organizers of this race launched it officially in 1804. At first, any horse that was born and bred in Scotland could participate in this race. However, that has since changed. A horse named Dazzle is the most decorated winner of this race. It clenched victories in 1889, 1890, and 1891.
Future Champion Novices’ Chase
The Future Novices’ Chase falls in the Grade 2 National Hunt Steeplechase category. It is a race for horses aged five years and above.
This exciting race takes place in April. In the past, this event always held the sponsor’s title. But later, the title “Future Novices’ Chase” would stick. This race takes place on the same day as the famed Scottish National Hunt.
Scottish Grand National
The Scottish Grand National race is another exciting steeplechase horse race. It is a Grade 3 race that attracts immense attention. Horses aged five or more have to race for four miles to complete this race. It consists of 27 races that wear out the horses quickly. This racing event takes place in April each year.
Firth of Clyde Stakes
The Firth and Clyde stakes is a flat race that enjoys quite a following. It is a race for two years and above horses.
Firth and Clyde Stakes is about 6 furlongs long and it takes place in September. At first, this race only had a listed status, but as it evolved, the stakeholders promoted it to Grade 3 in 2004. It is the only race that boasts of a Grade 3 status in Scotland.
Where to Bet on Ayr Races
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Online betting sites
Like many other distinguished races, you can bet on Ayr races in shops on the grounds or online. Nonetheless, the benefits of betting on these races online are unbeatable. First off, you do not have to move an inch. You can place your bets on the phone or computer. You only need a reliable internet connection. Most premier online sports betting providers will feature markets from the Ayr racecourse.
The best thing about betting online is that you have all the time and resources to analyze the horses. This makes your predictions more accurate even though the opposite can happen.
To bet on Ayr races, confirm that your preferred bookie features these markets. If they do, sign up, deposit some money and start betting. Ensure that you only back horses that are likely to win and you may make a profit. Following the races closely can also help you garner more wins when betting.
How to Get to the Ayr Racecourse
As we said earlier, the racecourse is about one hour away from Glasgow. That said, you could access this course by car, train or air.
If you prefer to drive, use the M77 road, which links Glasgow to Ayr. During race days, you can easily find buses that will take you to these grounds. These buses use the same route as motorists.
Ayr has an excellent and functional railway network. Racegoers are assured of regular train service to the racecourse.
Prestwick International Airport is about ten minutes away from the racecourse. Glasgow airport is also half an hour away. If you land at any of these airports, you can take a taxi to the racecourse.
Our Final Thoughts on Ayr
For horse race enthusiasts and punters, Ayr offers many competitive races all year round. This means that you will always have a race to bet on or watch. Remember to refine your betting techniques and follow the best tipsters in the market to change your fortunes.