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Ayr Gold Cup History

The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is a handicap race run at Ayr over six furlongs for horses aged three years or older.

Established in 1804, the contest was initially run over a distance of two miles and was restricted to horses either bred or trained in Scotland, however the race was slashed to six furlongs at the turn of the 20th century.

Now one of the biggest flat handicaps in the racing fixture list it attracts a huge amount of entries, so Ayr racecourse have now put on two additional races during the festival for horses that don't make it into the Gold Cup outright. 

The top 27 in the handicap will contest the Gold Cup, whilst the next batch of 27 will compete for the Ayr Silver Cup and those usually at the bottom of the handicap will contest the Ayr Bronze Cup.

It is essential to watch both the Silver and Bronze Cups as draw bias can be a major factor leading up to the Ayr Gold Cup, which is the highlight of the weekend's action.

A standout winner in recent years was the Ian Balding-trained Lochsong, who won this contest in 1992 before stepping up to Group class winning both the Nunthorpe Stakes at York's Ebor Festival and the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

One trainer has dominated this contest lately and he is sprinting specialist Dandy Nicholls.  Between 2000 and 2010 Nicholls saddled six winners of this event including Funfair Wane, who won the race in 2002 and 2004.

Recent Winners of the Ayr Gold Cup

  • 2000 - Bahamian Pirate
  • 2001 - Continent
  • 2002 - Funfair Wane
  • 2003 - Quito
  • 2004 - Funfair Wane
  • 2005 - Presto Shinko
  • 2006 - Fonthill Road
  • 2007 - Advanced
  • 2008 - Regal Parade
  • 2009 - Jimmy Styles
  • 2010 - Redford
  • 2011 - Our Jonathan
  • 2012 - Captain Ramius
  • 2013 - Highland Colori