Ayr is one of eight courses in Scotland, Ireland and England picked to stage The Series – a new addition to the flat racing calendar which will see branded teams compete in 48 races with more than £100,000 prize money per race.
Championship Horse Racing has created competition and the proposed courses are: Ayr, Epsom, Goodwood, Haydock, Leopardstown, Newbury, Newmarket (July) and Sandown.
Fixtures are planned for eight consecutive Thursday evenings from 25 July to 12 September next year. The se fixtures will be in addition to the British Racing Fixture List and require the approval of the BHA.
As Scotland’s only Grade 1 track , Ayr is home to its most prestigious flat race meeting – the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup festival. Ayr was crowned Sports Venue of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Hospitality awards and holds the accolade of being one of only six large racecourses to be awarded a Gold standard by the Racehorse Owners Association.
Jeremy Wray, chief executive of CHR, said: “Agreeing the likely racecourse schedule is a key milestone for CHR. Over the next few months we’ll be announcing the teams and the media partners who will broadcast The Series across the world.
“We’re delighted that The Series is due to take place at such a prestigious course as Ayr and that Scotland is one the three countries we debut in,” added Wray, pictured.
“They are great locations and have superb facilities for summer evening racing that promises fans something they’ve never experienced before. Fans will be encouraged to engage with the teams.”
Organisers expect The Series to feature the biggest names in racing, with each team comprising a racing manager, four jockeys and a squad of 30 horses.
Meanwhile, Quoi De Neuf created a good impression on his British debut at Aintree and can follow up in the Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown today.
The four-year-old may not have been exactly cheap at 180,000 euros at Goffs Punchestown National Hunt Sales in April, but trainer Evan Williams and owners Mr and Mrs William Rucker certainly took a shine to him.
The Ruckers have enjoyed great success, particularly with Grand National regulars State Of Play, Cappa Bleu and Alvarado and in Quoi De Neuf they could have an exciting recruit on their hands.
Winner of an Irish point-to-point just days before being sold, it was appropriate the French-bred gelding made his jumps bow at Liverpool and he did not disappoint.
Given time by Leighton Aspell to get the hang of things, Quoi De Neuf went into a challenging position in the straight before leading on the run-in and pulling away to score by two and a half lengths from Redzor.
That race was over this trip of two and a half miles and while this Grade Two heat represents a big step up in class, Quoi De Neuf could well be up to the task.
Siruh Du Lac made a triumphant return to action after 280 days off when scoring at Newbury and can follow-up in the If Carlsberg Did Race Days Handicap Chase at Exeter.
The Nick Williams-trained five-year-old led a long way out and overcame an untidy jump at the second last to beat Chef D’Equipe by a length and three-quarters.
He has been put up 6lb for that success but could have more improvement in him.