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A record £750,000 in prize-money is up for grabs at this year’s William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse from Thursday September 21 through to Saturday September 23.
And the added riches look set to attract some of the highest quality runners ever to be seen at Scotland’s richest Flat race meeting.
Leading trainers including John Gosden, Richard Fahey, Saeed bin Suroor and Roger Charlton are all plotting an Ayr raid and top jockeys in action are likely to include William Buick, Andrea Atzeni, Paul Hanagan and James Doyle.
The feature race of the three days – the £200,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup will have a maximum field of 25 runners and it is looking increasingly likely that every horse taking part in the race will have a British Horseracing Authority of 100 or higher.
A trio of horses trying to land the big prize on the back of impressive wins are John Gosden’s Johnny Barnes who won a £100,000 Class 2 seven furlong handicap at Goodwood last month, the three year-old Bacchus who won a valuable Newmarket handicap for Brian Meehan several weeks ago and Mattmu who bagged the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon for Tim Easterby in August.
By way of recognition that the consolation William Hill Ayr Silver Cup is contested by higher rated runners the prize fund for this has been boosted by £10,000 to £60,000.
There’s a brand new Listed race on the Friday of the Festival, the Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes over a new distance for Ayr of five and a half furlongs and carrying £50,000 in prize-money and David Barron is eyeing this for Clon Coulis.
Another £50,000 contest is the Harry Rosebery Stakes which is the target for the Jamie Osborne trained Pursuing The Dream winner of the Listed Prix de la Vallee d’Auge in Deauville last month.
Thursday’s feature is the £65,000 Listed Doonside Cup which has been a happy hunting ground for Saeed bin Suroor who has saddled the winner of the race five times since 2004 including last year’s winner Secret Number.
The Group 3 William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes for two year-old fillies is one of the Saturday highlights and several leading southern trainers are likely to have runners in this.
Tickets are selling fast for the Festival and its advised to book early by calling 01292 264179 or by going online at www.ayrgoldcup.co.uk
Issued by Iain Ferguson on behalf of Ayr Racecourse. For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292-294972 or 07795-565691.
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