General Information & History
Located in Scotland, the Ayr Racecourse opened in 1907 by the Southwest coastal town of the same name. The tradition of horse racing in this part of Scotland dates back to the 16th century, but the first official meeting only took place in 1771. In 1804, the first Ayr Gold Cup was held.
In 1824, the Western Meeting, the most crucial race meeting of the season, was established by the Western Meeting Club, formed in that very same year. Fourteen years later, the meeting had already grown so much in importance that boasted prize money of £2000. In 1855 the Ayr Gold Cup became a handicap race and quickly became the most valuable sprint handicap in Europe.
In those early days, the racetrack was situated in the Seafield area but soon became small for the events held, due to limitations on the size of both track and paddock. The current site was inaugurated in 1907, boasting a course based on the Newbury Racecourse. However, the old tracks – appropriately called Old Racecourse – near Seafield, still exist to this day and are now used as playing fields.
In the 1950s, a jumps tracks course was added to the Ayr Racecourse, meaning that for the first time, all year round racing could be held at Ayr. When the Scottish Grand National was transferred there in the mid-60s, the Ayr Racecourse was finally put on the map of the best racecourses in Great Britain.
The Ayr Racecourse is home to two of the most prestigious Scottish festivals, the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival and the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, besides hosting several top races if the Scottish calendar, both on the Flat and Jumps. The Coral Scottish Grand National (Class 1 – Grade 3) is the country’s richest race, with a prize fund of around £215.000. It’s also the fourth biggest race in terms of betting in the United Kingdom. The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival (Heritage Handicap) is a three-day festival and the richest Flat race in Scotland. It has prize money of around £200.000
How do I bet on horses at Ayr?
Horseracing and horse betting are central to the British popular culture for centuries. There are several ways gamblers can place a bet during the Ayr Racecourse races.
The Tote has selling points throughout the racecourse and can be easily identified. The Totepool works just like the lottery: it’s a pari-mutuel system with decimal odds, and the prize will depend on the number of people betting on what they are betting on and on the value of the bets. All the money goes into a pool – hence the name – and is shares between all the winners. The Tote has a minimum bet o £2. You’ll be given a receipt containing all the details of your bet. Keep it safe, or you won’t be able to withdraw any possible winnings.
Betting with Bookmakers
Bookmakers can be found in the betting ring, located in front of the grandstand, and on the rails, which is the place dividing the different enclosures on the racecourse. Bets are fixed, and each bookie displays their odds, competing against themselves for the best prices, so players will have to search around for the best bookies to place a wager.
Types of Bets
There are several bets you can place in the Ayr Racecourse, some exclusive to the Tote.
This is the most straightforward bet of all, yet exciting and thrilling. Players wager on the horse they think will finish the race in the 1st place.
A Place bet depends on the type of race and on how many horses are running and is placed on both horse and jockey. It pays a bit less than a Win bet. Each Way
This type of bet is two bets in one, as players bet on both Win and Place. They are the most expensive bets as players are placing two wagers in one.
This is one of the bets unique to the Tote. With Tote Exacta, players bet on the first two horses in the correct order and need to get them right to win.
Another one of the bets unique to the Tote, Tote Swinger, is available on races with six or more horses. Players need to pick two horses and choose which will finish the race in the first three.
Everyone who’s somehow into betting has heard about odds and how they work. In horseracing, the odds reveal the chances a horse has of winning a race. To work out potential winnings, players need to multiply the odds of the horses they bet on by the value of their bet. There are two types of odds: odds against and odds on.
Less than 50% probability of winning.
More than 50% probability of winning.
There are also Evens. Evens means that there’s precisely a 50% probability of winning. If you bet Evens and your horse wins, you’ll get back the exact amount of your wager plus de same value in winnings.
The Tote shows your winnings plus your original stake and presents decimal prices, while bookies reflect the number of your winnings.
Ayr Betting Odds Sites
Besides the Tote and the grandstand bookies, there are several websites where players can find horseracing odds. Besides the Ayr Racecourse official website, here’s a list of Ayr betting odds sites
- William Hill
- Betting Directory
- Betting Royal Ascot
- Betting Bias
- Horse Betting Offers
- At The Races
- Betting Expert
Most of these Ayr betting odds sites provide players with great information regarding the events, its races, types of bets, odds, and tips. There’s usually a calendar so gamblers can keep up to date with what’s going on in the racecourses. The Ayr Racecourse website also provides an excellent guide with lots of information regarding everything there is to know about betting in this Scottish racecourse.