THE Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival gets under way at Ayr Racecourse on Thursday with an eight-race card featuring almost 100 runners.
The highlight of the opening day of the three day meeting is the £30,000 Virgin Bet KilkerranCup over 1m 2f and due off at 4.45pm which has attracted 13 runners headed by Jim Goldie’s Nicholas T.
The nine year-old, who will be partnered by Ben Robinson, landed the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle earlier in the season and has seven course wins to his credit as does his stablemate Tommy G who will be ridden by Amie Waugh.
The Goldie runners aren’t the only horses with course form as another five have two trackwins apiece including John Quinn’s First Impression who was successful in the race last year and who has Jason Hart in the saddle. Keith Dalgleish’s Platinumcard is two from two at Ayr and will be ridden by Billy Garritty.
Earlier in the afternoon the Virgin Bet Handicap over the 7f trip at 2.25pm also has 13 runners with course winner Darvel, trained by Kevin Ryan and the mount of Kevin Stott an interesting runner as he cost 380,000 guineas as a yearling while David O’Meara’s Star Shield could give Ayrshire born jockey Danny Tudhope a winner.
The action gets under way at 1.50pm with the EBF Novice Stakes with a field of 14 two year-olds competing over a mile and Mark Johnston’s Outbreak comes into this on the back of a Salisbury win.