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Ayr Racecourse, Scotland’s premier racecourse and only Grade 1 track, will host a total of 32 fixtures in 2020 – 19 on the Flat and 13 over jumps.
As ever we host the jewels in the crown of Scottish racing – the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival on Friday April 17 and Saturday April 18 and the Ayr Gold Cup Festival from Thursday September 17 – Saturday September 19.
The year kicks off with our traditional New Year Raceday on Thursday January 2 always a fantastic way to make the festivities last a day longer while enjoying some exciting jumps racing followed by top entertainment.
And in keeping with the time of the year we have a touch of Ceilidh fun thanks to our superb live band The Stereobeats.
There will be ceilidh tunes and fantastic covers of classic hits making this a real day and evening to remember.
Our next big weekend fixtures is Tennent’s Raceday on Saturday March 7 when the feature race is a two mile four and a half furlong handicap hurdle for the Craigie Cup which was won in 2019 by the Gillian Bonas trained Crixus’s Escape.
And after racing top covers band Fusion will play some classic hits in the Club Stand.
April is memorable for our not to be missed Coral Scottish Grand National Festival on the 17th and 18th of the month with high quality racing, fantastic entertainment and the glamour of Ladies Day on the Friday when superb prizes can be won in our Best Dressed Ladies competition.
The showpiece race of the afternoon is the Class 1 Listed Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase over two miles four and a half furlongs won in 2019 by Dan Skelton’s Born Survivor.
Saturday features the Coral Scottish Grand National – the richest race in Scotland with £215,000 in the pot which saw the Nicky Richards trained Takingrisks win for jockey Sean Quinlan in the latest running of the great race.
This contest has the fourth biggest betting turnover of any race in the UK and is the second richest jumps race run on a Saturday.
The card also boasts an array of exciting contests including the Class 1 Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle, the Grade 2 Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices’ Chase, the Class 1 Listed Scotty Brand Chase and the CPMS Novices’ Championship Handicap Chase.
Tickets for this amazing day sell out weeks in advance so you have to book well in advance top secure your place at this iconic sporting occasion.
The entertainment is also out of the top drawer too and for a full list of what’s on before, during and after racing on both days go to our microsite www.scottishgrandnationalfestival.co.uk
Our first ‘headline’ Flat race of the year is the Class 1 Listed Tennent’s British Stallion Studs EBF Rothesay Stakes run over one mile two furlongs and a race first run in 2016 and won in 2017 by the subsequent Group 1 winning filly Nezwaah. In 2019 Roger Varian’s Shenanigans was the winner. This is one of seven races on Tennet’s Raceday on Wednesday May 20.
After racing a top live band will play in the Club Stand.
Our June highlight is QTS Summer Saturday Raceday on June 20. The headline race this day is the Class 1 Listed EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes over five furlongs one of the fastest run races of the year at Ayr. Previous winners include Marsha in 2016 a filly that went to win two Group 1s and who was sold for more than £6,000,000!
In 2019 Rebecca Rocks won for trainer Henry Candy and jockey Paul Hanagan. Other highlights include the Class 2 one mile five furlong handicap for the Winton Cup.
Once again after the last race there will some top notch entertainment to end the day on a real high.
We stage five meetings in July including two family days on July 5 and July 20.
Both these days features lots of quality family entertainment and it’s all free and includes fun fair rides, face painting, a petting zoo and a marquee full of fun activities.
Scottish Sun Ladies Night on Saturday August 10 is one of the social occasions of the year in Scotland.
There are seven races followed by some amazing entertainment in both the Club Stand and in the Ayrshire Suite in the Grandstand.
And throughout the evening the Best Dressed Ladies and Best Dressed Gents competitions will run with some truly wonderful prizes to be won.
Scotland’s biggest and richest Flat meeting is the Ayr Gold Cup Festival which runs from Thursday September 17 until Saturday September 19.
The opening day is Doonside Cup Day which features the Class 1 Listed Doonside Cup one of the most anticipated races of the year at the track.
Friday is Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day featuring two Class1 Listed races – the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes and the Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes.
But that’s not all of course. The Ayr Gold Cup is one of the top two sprint handicaps in Europe and takes place on the Saturday. The winner in 2019 was Angel Alexander co-owned by legendary footballer Michael Owen who took to social media after the race to tweet “Get in there you beauty!!!! I’ve just won the Ayr Gold Cup!!!!!”
Supporting races include Scotland’s only Group race – the Group 3 William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes and the Ayr Silver Cup one of two consolation races for the Gold Cup.
Our last Saturday meeting of 2019 is Tennent’s Raceday on Saturday October 31 – an exciting seven race jumps card featuring the Tennent’s Scottish Champion Hurdle trial for the Tennent’s Cup.