Ayr Racecourse is located on the west coast of Scotland, less than 40 miles from Glasgow. It is considered to be Scotland’s premier track with a very high quality of racing. It hosts both the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup, with a combined purse of over £400,000. The racecourse is dual purpose with both flat and jump racing and is one of the busier turf tracks hosting 34 racedays in 2016, with 35 scheduled for 2017.
Ayr Betting Tips
Ayr is a left-handed oval of approximately a mile and a half in circumference, with a half mile run in. The course has some gentle undulations, including a downhill run from the back straight round the home turn which can be crucial for allowing a front runner to escape. It is generally considered a fair galloping track, with wide expanses for rail movements to keep the ground fresh. However, it does become an extreme test on very soft ground, so stamina is a must. It’s no place to step up to a new trip when the ground gets heavy.
Ayr races can be a graveyard for favourites, especially on very soft ground and in handicaps. Many summer Monday meetings are big fields in Class 6 races and are worth taking a bigger price each way rather than backing one at the head of the betting.
Measuring a mile and a half, the jumps course at Ayr is a left-handed circuit with long sweeping bends and nine fences per lap. There is a long steady downhill run to the home bend which then leads to a slightly uphill sprint to the finish line. The run in measures 210 yards and the track suits nifty prominent types.
Like the jumps course this is a left-handed circuit which suits the galloping type. The round course measures twelve furlongs and there’s an extremely long run-in of half a mile which can take some getting. Again it suits a prominent nifty type as there is a downhill run leading onto the home straight so those at the front can gain a lot of speed. The straight course is extremely wide and can hold up to 28 runners.
Ayr Draw Bias
A lot depends on rail positions on the sprint course. Stalls tend to be put stand side which gives high numbers the edge with the rail to run down – this strip of ground is often something of a golden highway. The rails were moved for the 2016 Ayr Gold Cup Festival (previously known as the Western Meeting). This piece of ground wasn’t part of the track and on the soft surface low numbers were heavily favoured.
With a relatively short run into the bend over 7f, one could be forgiven for thinking that low numbers would be greatly favoured, but the stats don’t support this. With so much soft ground, those drawn higher coming down the middle of the track appear to have an edge, with no discernible bias over the mile trip.
Ayr Betting Trends
Jim Goldie has the most combined wins of any trainer across both flat and jumps. His runners show a big negative overall given the sheer volume that he sends to Ayr racecourse, with a 9% strike rate from 600 runners in the last five seasons.
Tom Eaves, on the other hand, has recorded an impressive level stakes profit of +£50 despite having a low strike rate (30 winners from 250 rides over the last 5 seasons.
However, the market is often a good guide to his charges. Keith Dalgleish mixes volume with profit from his runners with Ayr often a target with his better two-year-olds on their 2nd or 3rd starts.
Over the jumps, our betting tips often find value in opposing Donald McCain’s runners. His impressive strike rate of 21% in the last 5 seasons belies a level stakes loss of -£32 from just 88 runners.
Ayr Feature Races
- Future Champions Novices Chase (Grade 2) (2m 4f)
- Scottish Champion Hurdle (Grade 2) (2m)
- Scottish Grand National (Grade 3) (4m 110y)
- Firth Of Clyde Stakes (Group 3) (6f)
- Ayr Gold Cup Handicap (6f)