Ayr has been named Racecourse of the Year for Scotland and the north by members of the Racegoers Club for 11th time in 12 years.
The award for 2015 was voted on by the 5,000-strong membership of the club and Ayr Racecourse Managing Director David Brown said: “It is a great honour to win this award. This is voted for by the regular racegoers so that makes it all the more pleasing.”
In recent months, Ayr Racecourse has been awarded VisitScotland’s Five Star Visitor Attraction Award and it was one of only six racecourses to be awarded the Racehorse Owners Association Gold Standard in the large racecourses category and also won a coveted first prize at the prestigious 2015 National Racecourse Catering Awards.
Meanwhile, Jintshi can make a winning start in handicap company as he lines up in the toteplacepot Six Places In Six Races Handicap at Chelmsford today.
Mark Johnston’s charge made it third-time lucky at Wolverhampton last time after previously falling short at both Newmarket and Lingfield.
Admittedly he did not have to be at his absolute best to triumph at Dunstall Park, but he still emerged two and a half lengths to the good as the hot favourite failed to fire.
While that form perhaps does not amount to much, Jintshi could do little more than win and he showed a nice attitude, with the lack of strength in depth in the race keeping his rating to a moderate 74. He is the lowest-rated runner in the field but appears open to masses of improvement at this early stage.
Eleuthera can follow up on his recent Southwell success by taking the toteplacepot Racing’s Favourite Bet Handicap. Limited to just one start at three, Kevin Ryan’s runner has made up for lost time with two fine runs this year, kicking off with a narrow defeat at Southwell after seven months on the sidelines.
That run evidently set him right for his next outing at the track as he shook off any fears about the “bounce” factor when seeing off Kyllukey by a length and a quarter.
That one came out on top at Lingfield earlier this week so the form has a pleasing look and Eleuthera may be one who can rack up a bit of a sequence in the coming weeks.
Kristal Hart let down favourite backers last time but can make amends in the toteplacepot Handicap.
He found a rival with a touch too much toe last time but can be relied up to put up another good performance here.
Willie Mullins is hardly a regular visitor to Huntingdon but after fielding a couple of bumper runners earlier in the year, Gitane Du Berlais makes the trip across the Irish Sea for the Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase.
The six-year-old will be meeting an old rival Emily Gray here, with Kim Bailey’s charge having come out on top when the pair clashed at Carlisle back in November.
Emily Gray was in receipt of 5lb that day but the pair line up off level weights this time and given the winning margin of just a length and three-quarters, Bailey’s runner appears up against it this time.
Gitane Du Berlais has since disappointed in a Listed hurdle at Sandown but bounced back to winning form in Listed mares’ chase at Naas earlier this month and should be good enough for this.
2:15 L Frank Baum
2:45 Gitane Du Berlais (nap)
3:20 Deja Bougg
3:55 Its A Sting
5:05 Top Priority
2:00 Gunner Moyne
3:10 Leitrim Traveller
3:45 Justice First
4:20 James Bond Girl
2:55 Halcyon Days
3:30 Down Time
4:40 Grey Life
5:15 Captain Sharpe
5:40 Kristal Hart
6:40 Grand Meister
7:40 Ruby Wednesday
8:10 Hold Firm
8:40 Comanche Chieftain
Gitane Du Berlais