Scotland’s premier flat racing fixture – The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival – runs from Thursday until Saturday at Ayr Racecourse and promises to be one of the best ever.

A whopping £587,000 in prize money is up for grabs and crowds of more than 20,000 are expected to watch the action over the three days.

The week culminates with the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday at 3.50 pm when a maximum field of 27 horses is expected to go to post.

It is 38 years since a Scottish-trained horse won the race and there are three with realistic chances – the Jim Goldie pair Hawkeyethenoo and Jack Dexter, and Keith Dalgleish’s recent £150,000 purchase from France, Lover Man.

But the biggest danger to these three could be the Richard Fahey-trained Baccarat as short as 8/1 with the sponsors to lift the £155,000 first prize.

In addition to the big race the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup, the William Hill – Bet On The Move Doonside Cup and the William Hill – In the App Store Firth Of Clyde Stakes all take place on Saturday.

Thursday’s action features The William Hill – Download The App Handicap for the Kilkerran Cup run over one mile two furlongs.

Friday’s main event is the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup with a capacity 27-runner field thundering down the six furlong straight and there’s also a top supporting race in The Shadwell Stud/E.B.F. Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes, a listed Race.

Over the three days top jockeys including Kieren Fallon, Pat Smullen, Tom Queally, Jamie Spencer and Mickael Barzalona will be in action.

There are 22 races scheduled for the Festival and on Saturday four races will be shown live on Channel 4 television.

For further information or to book tickets call 01292 264179 or go online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk

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