Ayr Racetrack
[Home] [Photo Galleries] [Travel] [Maps] [History] [Places] [Guides] [Ayr Racetrack] [Links] [Search] [Contact]

In its early years, Ayr Racecourse was located in the Seafield area of Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland. Due to lack of room for expansion, it moved to its current site, at Whitletts Road, in the Craigie area of the town, in 1907. 1950 was a significant date in the history of the course. The addition of the National Hunt course meant that racing at Ayr was possible throughout the year for the first time. Ayr Racecourse was the major beneficiary of the closure of Bogside Racecourse in 1965. The demise of Bogside saw the Scottish Grand National transferred to Ayr for the 1966 renewal, increasing the prestige of Ayr as a venue for National Hunt racing.

The Ayr course is left-handed, meaning that horses race in a clockwise direction. It is oval in shape, with a circumference of about 1 mile 5 furlongs. It is known as a "galloping" course, best suited to longer-striding horses. The course is also quite "stiff," presenting a thorough test of stamina, especially when the going rides on the soft side, which is often the case. There is a straight 6 furlong flat course.

Ayr is the only Grade 1 course in Scotland and is acknowledged as the leading Scottish racecourse. It stages up to 30 race meetings per year, including both Flat and National Hunt fixtures, some of which feature the most important races run in Scotland under both codes. The racecourse has enjoyed multi-million pound investment in recent years, with significant improvements being made to facilities since 2007.

How to get there
On the west coast of Scotland, Ayr Racecourse is easily accessible, with excellent road and public transport links

By Road:
Race goers travelling to Ayr by road should travel via the A77 from Glasgow or take the A70, A75 or A76 from the east. The M6 motorway connects to these routes from both north and south.

By Rail:
Ayr railway station is within comfortable walking distance of the racecourse, although a frequent bus service operates between the two before and after racing.

By Air:
Glasgow Airport is 30 miles from Ayr Racecourse, with Prestwick Airport just 3 miles away.

By Sea:
A "Seacat" service operates between Belfast and Troon, which is about 8 miles from the racecourse.

Principal Races
The highlights of the racing calendar at Ayr are the 2-day Scottish Grand National meeting in April and the 3-day Western Meeting in September.

Along with the valuable centrepiece, run over an extended 4 miles, the former also includes the 2-mile Scottish Champion Hurdle, which perhaps suffers in quality, due to its proximity to the Cheltenham Festival and the 2-mile Future Champion Novices` `Chase, which has thrown up several subsequent winners of prestigious races.

The Western Meeting features the Ayr Gold Cup, run over 6 furlongs and the most valuable sprint handicap in Europe. With a maximum of 27 runners, it is invariably hotly-contested and extremely popular with the betting public. On the same afternoon, two year old fillies contest the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes, also over 6f. As of 2012, it is the only Group race run in Scotland.

An enjoyable day at Ayr races can be all the more pleasurable www.freeracingtips.co.uk pointing the way to a few winners.

See also the history or Horse Racing in Ayr.