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Ayr – Report 2nd January 2024

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.

Ardera Cross, the horse that cost £1,000, brought the crowd to its feet with a stirring ninth victory at Ayr on Tuesday, his 13th since joining his present connections in 2019.

Now trained by William Young in the Clyde Valley, he took his earnings for the Lanarkshire permit-holder to over £122,000 after landing the Win A Wedding Western House Handicap Chase.

The day otherwise belonged to Irish trainer Stuart Crawford, who saddled a consecutive race courtesy of Ballycoose, Ailie Rose and Joshua Des Flos.

“I always love coming across and we have runners at most of the jumps meetings here,” said Crawford, who is based near Larne. “It’s an easy enough journey on the ferry and much easer than going to a lot of the Irish tracks.”

Ben Smith had a day to remember when riding his first winner on just his fourth ride aboard Follow Charlie, trained by his father Mike.

The 17-year-old, who performed a flying discount in the winners’ enclosure, said: “It’s not quite as good as Frankie’s yet but I’m working on it! I had a dream ride all the way round and to have my first winner at my local track is a dream come true.”