Welcome to our official guide to Ayr Racecourse. In this section we explore this great Scottish jump and flat racing racecourse in detail, looking at its rich history, a guide to the track, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview of The Course
- 2 Ayr Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events at Ayr Racecourse
- 4 Ayr Racecourse Map
- 5 Ayr Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Ayr Racecourse
- 7 Hotels Near Ayr Racecourse
- 8 The Best Ayr Races Betting Sites?
- 9 Ayr Betting Guide
- 10 Ayr Races Fixture List
- 11 Ayr Racecourse Weather
- 12 Other Events Held at The Racecourse
- 13 Summary
- 14 Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Overview of The Course
Considered Scotland’s premier racecourse, Ayr Racecourse hosts both flat, and National Hunt racing throughout the year, and hosts the crown jewels of Scottish National Hunt racing: The Scottish National!
To say that Ayr Racecourse is well favoured would be to understate its popularity: the Racegoers Club has rated it the ‘Best Racecourse in Scotland and the North East’ some NINETEEN times – nine of those in a row! Designated a five-star attraction by VisitScotland, Ayr Racecourse is truly the star in Scotland’s racing scene.
Ayr Racecourse’s track is an oval-shaped flat left-handed course measuring just over one and a half miles, with a long run-in dependent on the race length. It’s run either as a flat course, a hurdles course, or a steeplechase. Less than 2km from the west coast of Scotland, the course benefits from the sandy ground and a moderate climate that offers great conditions for racing all year round. The jumps course, in particular, is known to be a tough one – it runs downhill to the home turn with an uphill finish, so can be tricky for even the most skilful of jockeys and horses.
The course can host up to 50 fixtures a year and is most famous for its National Hunt racing. The most famous race it runs is the Scottish Grand National; the Scottish equivalent of the English Grand National run at Aintree.
Ayr Racecourse is one of just five racecourses in Scotland; one used exclusively for flat racing, two for jump, and one other mixed. It is definitely viewed by the public and those in the equine sport industry as the most prestigious and important on the scene.
Ayr Racecourse History
Horseracing in Scotland dates back at least 900 years, with the Lanark Silver Bell race being documented as far back at the 12th or 13th Century – believed to be one of the first races formally recorded.
In the town of Ayr, records show horseracing having taken place as early as 1576, but the first official publicly-attended race wasn’t until 1771. This was held down the coast slightly in Seafield, on an oval course a mile long with tight bends.
In 1824, the town’s most important race was established: The Western Meeting. Within a decade, the prize fund had risen to over £2,000 and was the most valuable two-year-old race in the whole of the UK! The track continued to gain popularity and the facility was quickly not big enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. In 1907, Ayr Racecourse was established in its current site, based on a blueprint of Newbury Racecourse. The jumps track was added in 1950, and in 1966, the Scottish National moved to the course when its previous home, Bogside Racecourse in Irving, closed.
Main Races and Events at Ayr Racecourse
Ayr Racecourse hosts numerous race meets throughout the year, but the two primary ones are prominent races not just in the Ayr calendar but also the whole of Scotland’s!
The Scottish National festival runs for two days every April and is a Grade 3 handicap National Hunt steeplechase race. The Grand National race itself is broadcast live on ITV annually, and more than 20,000 attendees see it live at the track itself. Tickets sell out fast, and the whole town of Ayr transforms into a horseracing haven for the weekend hosting it.
Flat handicap race the Ayr Gold Cup is run over six furlongs every September, with eight races taking place throughout the day. This iconic event is part of Scotland’s rich racing history and is notoriously tricky – no horse has won it more than three times since the 1800s!
Ayr Racecourse Map
Ayr is a left-handed and galloping track. The round course is about twelve furlongs around with a home straight of 4 furlongs. The turn approaching the straight is slightly downhill, and those prominent can gain an advantage once in line for home. Sprints are held over the straight course. It is a particularly wide course which allows sprints to have fields of up to 28.
The jumps course is left-handed with nine fences. There is a steady downhill run to the home turn and a gentle rise to the finish. There is a run-in of 210 yards after the last.
Ayr Racecourse Address
The official racecourse address is:
How To Get To Ayr Racecourse
- By car – Ayr Racecourse is situated just off the M77, which links the town of Ayr with Glasgow, less than 40 miles away.
- By bus – there are regular buses to Ayr from Glasgow using this route, too.
- By train – the course is less than five minutes from Ayr railway station, with regular services linking the town with the whole of Scotland.
- By air – for air travellers, the nearest airport is Prestwick International (about 10 mins away), and Glasgow Airport less than an hour away. Ferries run into Ayr from Troon and Larne seasonally, with more sporadic ferry services to and from Ireland.
Hotels Near Ayr Racecourse
Ayr isn’t a large town by any means, but there are plenty of accommodation options available in and around it. The Fox & Willow offers rooms centrally from £35, and the OYO Glenpark Hotel for around the same price. Chain hotels in Ayr include Mercure, Travelodge and Premier Inn. For a more premium stay, consider the Savoy Park or Ellisland hotels. There’s plenty of B&Bs and traditional guesthouses in the surrounding residential suburbs that offer competitive rates and are all within walking distance of the town and racecourse. We recommend checking out the fantastic deals available through Booking.com below:
The Best Ayr Races Betting Sites?
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.
If you are looking to bet online, we recommend the following great deals:
Ayr Betting Guide
Visiting Ayr racecourse doesn’t mean you have to place a bet, its the experience of race day for the racegoers.
When going to Ayr, there are plenty of betting choices, let’s dive straight in!
Mobile signal is, on the whole, absolutely fine in Ayr, so you can also bet online if you have a betting brand preference not available on-site or in-town, with good on course wifi and 4G mobile connections.
Check out the great bonuses for betting now:
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Local Betting Shops
In the town centre of Ayr, you’ll find branches of Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral and Betfred. These are the local betting shops closest to the Ayr Racecourse:
- Ladbrokes – 157 Whitletts Rd, Ayr KA8 0JQ
- Coral – 84 Main St, Ayr KA8 8EF
- William Hill – 105 Main St, Ayr KA8 8BU
- Betfred – 93-95 High St, Ayr KA7 1QL
On Course Bookmakers
You can choose to bet at one of the two William Hill on course Bookie Shops. One is located within the Ayrshire Suite; the other is within the Club area on the first story of the Princess Royal Stand.
You write your bet on the slip given to you and if you catch winner, go to the counter then hand your slip over, and your prize will be given.
The bookmakers at Ayr make the experience; everybody can have a flutter. There are Tote facilities as well as a standard betting shops mentioned above, but by far the most popular method for those wanting to have a flutter is with the independent bookies outside in the paddock. The Scots love to support a good, indie Scottish business, after all!
Take a peek in the parade ring before betting as you may find the winner.
Ayr Races Fixture List
Due to the current COVID situation fixtures and racing is behind the closed number, we will update you when we have more info.
Ayr Racecourse Weather
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Ayr Racecourse:
Other Events Held at The Racecourse
Ayr Racecourse complements many of its race days with live music and performances, but also holds evenings without racing and just music gigs, with Little Mix booked for summer 2020. The Ayr Sunday Market is a market and car boot sale that takes place at the track weekly and happens indoors or outdoors, dependent on the weather.
Racing at Ayr and in Scotland has a rich history, and Ayr Racecourse is the jewel in the crowd of Scottish racing, hosting the Scottish National and the prestigious Ayr Gold Cup. Not only is the racing of the highest quality but the facilities and atmosphere are always outstanding as well. It is without a doubt one of our favourite courses, hosting high-quality flat and jumps racing all year round. Definitely, one to add to your horse racing bucket list!
Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Our team as of February 2021 have reviewed these below racecourses, all of which are definitely worth a visit:
- Aintree Racecourse Guide
- Ascot Races
- Ayr Racecourse Guide
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse Guide
- Bath Racecourse Guide
- Beverley Racecourse Guide
- Brighton Racecourse Guide
- Carlisle Racecourse Guide
- Cartmel Racecourse Guide
- Catterick Racecourse Guide
- Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide
- Cheltenham Racecourse Guide
- Chepstow Racecourse Guide
- Chester Racecourse Guide
- Doncaster Racecourse Guide
- Epsom Racecourse Guide
- Exeter Racecourse Guide
- Fakenham Racecourse Guide
- Ffos Las Racecourse Guide
- Fontwell Racecourse Guide
- Goodwood Racecourse Guide
- Great Yarmouth Racecourse Guide
- Hamilton Racecourse Guide
- Haydock Racecourse Guide
- Hereford Racecourse Guide
- Hexham Racecourse Guide
- Huntingdon Racecourse Guide
- Kelso Racecourse Guide
- Kempton Park Racecourse Guide
- Leicester Racecourse Guide
- Lingfield Park Racecourse Guide
- Ludlow Racecourse Guide
- Market Rasen Racecourse Guide
- Musselburgh Racecourse Guide
- Newbury Racecourse Guide
- Newcastle Racecourse Guide
- Newmarket Racecourse Guide
- Newton Abbot Racecourse Guide
- Nottingham Racecourse Guide
- Perth Racecourse Guide
- Plumpton Racecourse Guide
- Pontefract Racecourse Guide
- Redcar Racecourse Guide
- Ripon Racecourse Guide
- Salisbury Racecourse Guide
- Sandown Racecourse Guide
- Sedgefield Racecourse Guide
- Southwell Racecourse Guide
- Stratford Racecourse Guide
- Taunton Racecourse Guide
- Thirsk Racecourse Guide
- Towcester Racecourse
- Uttoxeter Racecourse Guide
- Warwick Racecourse Guide
- Wetherby Racecourse Guide
- Wincanton Racecourse Guide
- Windsor Racecourse Guide
- Wolverhampton Racecourse Guide
- Worcester Racecourse Guide
- York Races