Ayr racecourse is situated close to the west coast of Scotland in Ayr and is the only venue in the country which plays host to Grade 1 racing. This fact alone makes Ayr Scotland’s premier racecourse. However, on top of this fact, Ayr racecourse has been voted top racecourse in the country an astounding 19 times. Each April, the highlight of racing at Ayr, the Scottish National festival, takes place over an action-packed two days.
Ayr Racecourse History
Horse Racing in the region began around 1576, but it took a few centuries until the first official meeting was held in 1771. Over time, popularity grew and the venue became too small and a new course was commissioned, with the old course eventually becoming incorporated into Seafield Golf Course. This course’s design was based on Newbury and bears many similarities.
Ayr is a left-handed, oval-shaped circuit of about 2400 metres. Ayr is a remarkably level track where galloping horses tend to thrive, especially with front-running tactics. The long straight and wide track create a fair platform for racing. Races up to 6 furlongs are run on the straight, while all others are around the bend. There is a definite high draw bias in races on the straight and a marginal low draw bias for events around the turn.
Highlights of racing at Ayr include the Scottish Grand National in April, a Grade 3 steeplechase run over the marathon distance of 6397 metres. The race is open to thoroughbreds of 5 years or older and is a competitive handicap that draws much interest. Another notable fixture is the Ayr Gold Cup, a flat handicap race for horses three years and older, which takes place each September and is run over 1207 metres (6 furlongs).
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