Flat, Hurdles, Fences
Approx no. of meetings
Rail: from London (6 hours, Changing at Glasgow central)
Air: Prestwick Airport approximately 4 miles away.
Railway station to Racecourse (Just over 1 mile, easy and pleasant walk across river)
Taxis – Plentiful at station. Rank at racetrack.
One main stand, which houses three floors. The ground floor has bar, food, and bookies. The second floor is a classier version of the same, and has the owner’s and trainer’s restaurant. The top floor appeared to be corporate boxes. There is a fabulous champagne lawn which has excellent viewing for the parade ring.
We stayed in Troon in the old Loans Inn due to a last-minute change when out hotel cancelled. There is a plethora of chain hotels and B&B options, but staying out in Troon gave the joy of taking the train to Ayr and having a view of the wonderful golf courses on the coast, along with the Isle of Aran.
Open ticket on the day as it was the first day of the flat season and a quiet Monday, but normally I suspect segregated between Paddock and Premium.
(1) Return after the challenge has been completed, this time for a jumps meeting.
08 May 2017– UK Tracks Visited (27)
As has been mentioned above, this track was visited as part of our tour of Scottish tracks, but we had the irritation of having our hotel cancelled only a few days before arriving. We found the Old Loans Inn and enjoyed the bonus of Troon and the coastal railway. All of this meant we arrived in Ayr after a delightful thirteen minutes of coastal scenery relaxed and ready to get racing.
We brought the weather with us and although I was starting to make the joke rather a lot to the race staff about sacrificing a goat, we had more glorious sunshine on this day which was perfect for Madam Hoof’s birthday. This of course lead to the prerequisite purchase of birthday bubbles (Perrier Jouet) at a very reasonable £57, although still wrongly marked up on the bar prices. There was a delightful young man serving us and the ubiquitous hen-do just kicking off. I am not sure I see the relationship between Hen-Dos, Stag-Dos and racecourses, but they do seem popular.
The course is multiple purpose and only last month hosted the Scottish Grand National (Sam TD winning for the second year on the same horse setting a 32-year record). The layout of the stand and the parade ring is side by side and there is good visibility from almost everywhere. Repeater screens are prevalent and the elevation in the stands give a view all the way to the back of the course. As has previously been mentioned, Madam Hoof and I do like a quiet track and this was delightful, but you could still imagine the throng during a large meeting such as the Ayr cup or the Grand National.
On the day we visited, Jim Goldie and family were very well represented and Madam Hoof is spending a disproportionate amount of time with the good old Racing Post these days checking not only on blood stock, but who are the most successful trainers locally. Jim and Keith Dalgleish seem to be the men to follow at this track. For me, it was scant picking financially, although I did end up on top after a cheeky little Swinger on the Tote (the bet not the lady).