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It was a Tartan Special end to 2017 at Ayr Racecourse’s Festive Raceday yesterday with Scottish trainers winning five of the seven races.
Borders based Sandy Thomson set the ball rolling with McGowan’s Pass staying on well under jockey Henry Brooke to prevail by three and a half lengths from Cool Mix, the 7/4 favourite in the opening race, a two mile maiden hurdle.
Mike Smith, who trains just 10 miles from the track at Galston was celebrating after Trongate justified 9/2 favouritism to pick up the two mile three furlong handicap hurdle.
The delighted trainer said : “That was a gutsy performance he battled all the way from the last and Dale Irving game him a great ride. This was his first win and it was well deserved.”
Lochnell is a horse that just loves Ayr having previously won four hurdle races and landed her first ever chase win at odds of 7/1 when powering clear by two and a half lengths in the three mile handicap chase to give Henry Brooke a double on the day.
And Langholm trainer James Ewart saddled the last two winners with Charmant, 11/10 favourite, winning the two mile handicap hurdle by five lengths from 33/1 chance Our Lucas and Sao Maxence, 12/1, finishing powerfully to land the national hunt flat race by two and a quarter lengths from the 11/8 favourite Derriana Spirit.
The two non- Scottish trained winners on the card were Uncle Alastair, evens favourite, in the two and a half mile novices’ hurdle for trainer Nicky Richards and jockey Craig Nichol while Lough Derg Jewel, also an even money favourite, won his second race at the track this season in the two mile four furlong chase for Donald McCain and Brian Hughes.
Ayr’s next fixture is on Tuesday January 2 – New Year Raceday.
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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