Veteran Barney McGrew bidding to come up trumps at Ayr

AYR stages the first leg of a two-day fixture tonight with the STV Appeal Racenight, which has attracted a healthy number of runners with 64 horses declared.

The feature race on the card – the Barclays Handicap at 8.50pm – has 12 runners including veteran sprinter Barney McGrew who was second in the 2009 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup to Jimmy Styles. Other interesting runners include the Linda Stubbs-trained course winner Five Star Junior and David O’Meara’s Roker Park.

Meanwhile, the 2011/2012 jumps season at Kelso may be over, but the course is already eager to improve attendance and increase prize money ahead of the next campaign, which starts on 7 October. End-of-season figures have shown a six per cent increase in average daily attendance on the previous season, despite the disruptions in weather throughout the campaign.

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Managing director Richard Landale said: “This is a very pleasing result despite losing two meetings and having to manage extremes of weather. We will now sit down and finalise plans for next year but hope the board will agree to leave admission fees at the same level for next season.”

The course has focused on increasing corporate packages throughout the season, and succeeded in recording a 36 per cent increase in race day hospitality.