Scotland’s premier track and one of the better dual-purpose venues anywhere in the country, Ayr Racecourse has the distinction of hosting at least two of the UK’s most gambled-on races; the Ayr Gold Cup and the Scottish Grand National.
In terms of betting in the biggest races, you really need to know most of all about the straight six furlongs on the flat here and then about the different nuances of the jumps courses.
Ayr’s three biggest betting handicaps on the level are all over six furlongs, so while it is described as a galloping track and one on which you need to be handy, raw pace remains very important.
That said strong travellers are needed, see the well-backed 2020 Ayr Gold Cup winner Nahaarr, as this is a track on which horses really need to get home. Unlike a York or a Doncaster arguably, the last half-furlong here can catch a runner out so those who have performed well on an uphill finish and/or have seen out seven furlongs can be favoured.
On the jumps course, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the weather. When the ground is particularly soft those being held up for a finish can go well. When it’s good or better however, runners cannot afford to give away any ground and need to be ridden handily so watch for that in a contender’s past form.
The fences are fair here so don’t be as worried in the Scottish National as you are in the Aintree race about your horse’s jumping ability, but versatility is needed in between obstacles with enough pace being needed to lay-up while stamina remains important for the finish up this straight.
Top Trainers and Jockeys at Ayr
To make sure you’re aware of any trends in terms of trainers and jockeys who do well at Ayr, these are the names repeatedly showing up well though not many have great strike-rates on the flat.
- Keith Dalgleish*
- Jim Goldie*
- Richard Fahey*
- David O’Meara*
- Nicky Richards
- Dan Skelton
- Donald McCain Jr.
- Sandy Thomson
- Gordon Elliott
- Iain Jardine
The better-performing jockeys at Ayr are:
- Joe Fanning*
- Danny Tudhope*
- Kevin Stott*
- Ben Curtis*
- Brian Hughes
- Henry Brooke
- Harry Skelton
- Ross Chapman
*Flat racing, others National Hunt
Ayr’s Major Handicaps
Ayr’s biggest handicaps, all huge betting events, are split between the track’s two major meetings; the Scottish Grand National meeting over the jumps and autumn’s Gold Cup meeting on the flat.
The reason the three major flat handicaps here look the same is that, given how hugely popular and therefore massively oversubscribed the Gold Cup is, there is the need for two consolation races.
|Ayr Gold Cup||Ayr Gold Cup Festival, September||Class 2||6 furlongs|
|Ayr Silver Cup||Ayr Gold Cup Festival, September||Class 2||6 furlongs|
|Ayr Bronze Cup||Ayr Gold Cup Festival, September||Class 2||6 furlongs|
|Scottish Grand National (Chase)||Scottish Grand National Festival, April||Grade 3||4 miles, 110 yards|
|Scottish Champion Hurdle||Scottish Grand National Festival, April||Grade 2||2 miles|