Ayr Gold Cup

The Ayr Gold Cup is a Scotland's premier Flat race of the season. Over time the prestigious race has become the richest one-off handicap race in Europe and is now worth 150,000 to the winner, with the sponsorship coming from William Hill.

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In terms of excitement, drama and style, it doesn't really get much better than the Ayr Gold Cup meeting especially the final day of the meeting, where the Gold Cup takes centre stage along with the valuable Silver Cup and Bronze Cups.

The modern day Ayr Gold Cup is run over a straight six furlongs, whereas the first ever running of the race was competed over two miles.

The contest is open to thoroughbred horses aged three-years and over, with the 28 top-rated horses taking their place in the line-up. Every year there are at least 150 horses entered for the race, but the introduction of the Silver and Bronze Cups have allowed the horses that have missed the cut to run in a similar handicap.

The major race itself is regarded as one of the toughest races of the years for punters to solve. However, that doesn't deter the form book studiers, who in the past have been the part of some huge gambles that have been successful in the race.

The likes of Coastal Bluff (1996), Royale Figurine (1995) and Lochsong (1992) have all been subject of victorious gambles for the punters but in recent years the bookmakers have held sway. There have been no single priced winners of the race since 1996 and the 2011 winner Our Jonathan thwarted a huge gamble on Eton Rifles, who was backed in from 12-1 to 6-1 just before the off.

This year's renewal looks a typical tight affair but there is a murmuring that local trained Hawkeyethenoo (16/1 Ladbrokes) could be the horse for money this year.

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