The Ayr Gold Cup Meeting features four Class 1 races over the three-day festival, but the feature race is actually a Class 2 handicap! Overall, it is by far the most prestigious Flat meeting in Scotland and attracts tens of thousands of racegoers from the south.

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Although it doesn’t carry the same gravitas as some other high-profile meetings, the Ayr Gold Cup festival is a favourite of trainers and jockeys thanks to a friendly atmosphere and quality racing.

In terms of punter experience, it is unquestionably one of the best fixtures on the British racing calendar. In today’s betting preview, I will focus on two of the Class 1 races and the 2018 Gold Cup itself.

With entries into each race still being confirmed, most racing bookmakers have not yet published any odds to win individual Ayr Gold Cup Meeting races. has published a huge list of potential entries with odds, but there are so many entries it would be highly risky to put any significant money on any of those at this point.

We’ll be checking the bookmakers every morning this week and add those odds to this post as prices as published. As the odds are updated by the bookmakers, we will post tables comparing the odds across each bookmaker so you can get the best odds possible for every pick.

The Doonside Cup Stakes

Day 1: Thursday, 20 September

This Listed race is the highlight of Day 1 and is a mix of stamina and speed over 1m 2f. It is open to all horses aged 3yo+ with a five-pound allowance for fillies and a variety of penalties for Group race winners. Although the prize money is relatively low at £65,000, the Doonside Cup regularly attracts top class horses.

Previous Winners

Year Winner Odds (SP)
2013 Sharestan 11/4
2014 Sennockian Star 100/30
2015 Scottish 9/2
2016 Secret Number 6/1
2017 No Race Due to Waterlogged Course N/A

Betting Trends & Information

At the time of writing, there are 11 horses entered in the race. Morando is the 3/1 favourite followed by Dubai Horizon at 21/10 and Air Pilot at 7/2. Bear in mind that the only odds available, just 24 hours before the race, are at!

  • 17/20 winners finished in the top four in their last race.
  • 15/20 winners were in the top two in the betting market.
  • 18/20 winners had an OR of 104+
  • 20/20 winners have a maximum of one win over the distance.
  • 17/20 winners had at least two season runs.

Only four horses have an OR of 104 or more. Of them, only Dubai Horizon finished in the top four in his last race and has an excellent chance if a confirmed entry.

Betting Odds
Morando 3/1 3/1
Dubai Horizon 7/2 9/4
Air Pilot 7/2 8/1
Aspetar 8/1 12/1
Escalator 17/2 11/2
Dolphin Vista 10/1 14/1
Gabrial 10/1 25/1
Narella 12/1 28/1
Ayutthaya 16/1 7/1
Glasses Up 33/1 50/1
Polly Glide 66/1 150/1

Harry Rosebery Stakes

Day 2: Friday, 21 September

This is another Listed Race, and along with the Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes, it is the biggest race on day two. The race is named after the 6th Earl of Rosebery who was a well-known horse racing enthusiast. It is open to all horses aged 2yo+ and is run over a distance of 5f.

Previous Winners

Year Winner Odds (SP)
2013 Hurryupharriet 5/1
2014 Accipiter 25/1
2015 Quiet Reflection 8/1
2016 Clem Fandango 11/4
2017 No Race N/A

Betting Trends & Information

There are 12 confirmed runners for the Harry Rosebery Stakes and the bookmakers are having an incredibly hard time separating the field. Junius Brutus and Life of Riley are the co-favourites at 4/1 with Cosmic Law close behind at 9/2. The rest of the field is 8/1+ but none of the entrants are available at longer than 25/1.13/20 winners finished in the top 4 in their last race.

  • 13/20 winners finished in the top 4 in their last race.
  • 15/20 winners were in the top 3 in the betting market.
  • 17/20 winners last ran 8-52 days before the race.
  • 17/20 winners had at least three season runs.

Only six of the field finished in the top four in their last race and have three or more season runs. This is definitely a race for the bookies as it is tough to find a standout contender. Deia Glory only narrowly lost out at York in a Listed Race while Diamonique has won the last two races but this event might be a step too far.

The Life of Riley was a narrow second at Goodwood in August and will be a contender if handling the ground. Julius Brutus is unquestionably a contender and should enjoy the drop down to 5f as he has plenty of raw speed.

Betting Odds
Junius Brutus 4/1 4/1 4/1
Life of Riley 4/1 4/1 4/1
Cosmic Law 9/2 9/2 9/2
Vintage Brut 17/2 8/1 8/1
Dave Dexter 17/2 8/1 8/1
Deia Glory 10/1 10/1 10/1
Kinks 10/1 10/1 10/1
Golden Circle 12/1 10/1 12/1
Secret Venture 12/1 12/1 12/1
Flawless Jewel 16/1 16/1 16/1
Diamonique 25/1 20/1 22/1
Broken Spear 25/1 25/1 25/1

Ayr Gold Cup

Day 3: Saturday, 22 September

Although it is only a Class 2 handicap, the Ayr Gold Cup is the highlight of the festival. It is run over 6f and is open to all horses aged 3yo+. The first Gold Cup at Ayr took place in 1804 and was held at Belleisle which was the original location of Ayr racecourse. It was a handicap race from 1855 onwards, and the distance was reduced from two miles to a mile in 1870.

When the Belleisle course closed in 1907, the Gold Cup was moved to its existing location and shortened to 6f the following year. The race has a maximum field of 25 runners and is so popular that Silver and Bronze Cups have been introduced for horses that don’t make the final Gold Cup cut!

Previous Winners

Year Winner Odds (SP)
2013 Highland Colori 20/1
2014 Louis the Pious 10/1
2015 Don’t Touch 6/1
2016 Brando 11/1
2017 Donjuan Triumphant (Run at Haydock) 13/2

Betting Trends & Information

There are an incredible 168 possible entries in the Ayr Gold Cup at the time of writing. Traditionally, the Gold Cup is made up of the 25 highest weighted horses. The following 25 enter the Silver Cup, and the next 25 enter the Bronze Cup.

At present, Son of Rest is the 10/1 favourite on Coral followed by Growl at 12/1. However, there is a chance that most of the favoured horses will not enter and we expect the odds to look very different in the next two days or so.

  • Only 4/20 winners also won their last race.
  • 13/20 horses have won at odds of 14/1+.
  • 0/20 winners were aged 7yo+.
  • 14/20 winners carried 8-13+.
  • Only 1/20 favourites have won the Ayr Gold Cup, and just 5/20 winners were in the top 4 in the betting market.
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