Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Sir Alex Could Win Ayr Gold!

Sir Alex Ferguson could add some gold to his football silverware this weekend. Britain’s most successful football manager is a part-owner in racehorse Red Pike, who is entered in Saturday’s William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, worth a whopping £180,000 in prize money.


Red Pike is very consistent and has won or placed 11 times in 18 starts and is 25-1 with William Hill to win.

“Sir Alex Ferguson may have to find room in his trophy cabinet because he has a chance of winning Scotland’s richest flat race,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.


Don’t Touch is the 7-1 favourite with William Hill, with punters able to back their selections each-way with Britain’s biggest bookmaker and get paid out on the first five places.


“The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is one of the highest quality, most exciting sprints in Europe and with big prices and five places each way, it’s a proper race for punters,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.


David Elsworth’s Justice Day is set to carry the top weight in the race, as he carries a 5lb penalty for winning a Leicester conditions race last time out. He is a 25-1 chance with William Hill.  


The sponsor could not be happier with the quality of this year’s entries.


“At the start of this century the average rating for the winner of the Ayr Gold Cup was 92, but a horse with that rating wouldn’t even get in to this year’s race. The past five winners had an average rating of 102, so the quality is getting better and better.”


William Hill Ayr Gold Cup: 7-1 Don’t Touch, 14-1 Golden Steps, Tanzeel, Toofi, 16-1 Buckstay, Highland Acclaim, Rene Mathis, 20-1 Blaine, Eccleston, Foxtrot Romeo, Heaven’s Guest, Jack Dexter, Kimberella, Lexington Abbey, Majestic Moon, Rivellino, Suzi’s Connoisseur, Tatlisu, 25-1 Aetna, Algar Lad, Dinkum Diamond, Fast Track, George Bowen, Highland Colori, Justice Day, Lucky Beggar, Poyle Vinnie, Red Pike, Right Touch, Shared Equity, Sound Advice, 33-1 Al Khan, Bogart, Boom The Groom, Dutch Masterpiece, Hawkeyethenoo, Hillbilly Boy, Hoof It, Lightscameraction, Mass Rally, Mullionheir, Nameitwhatyoulike, Ninjago, Northgate Lad, Ocean Sheridan, Perfect Pasture, Professor, Rex Imperator, Roossey, Shipyard, Shore Step, Steve Prescott, 40-1 OR BIGGER THE REST (Each Way ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3,4,5)





The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is increasing in quality every year:


Average Official Rating Of The Winner First Five Renewals Of This Century (2000 to 2004): 92


Average Official Rating Of The Winner Last Five Renewals (2010 to 2014): 102


Since the turn of the century, there has been an even spread of 4yo, 5yo and 6yo winners, but 3yo’s have only won once and horses that are 7yo or older have not won any.


Age Of Winner (2000 to 2014)

3yo: 1 winner

4yo: 5 winners

5yo: 5 winners

6yo: 4 winners

7yo or older: No winners


In terms of the actual weight carried in the race, those in the middle of the weights have won a higher proportion of races


Actual weight carried:

9st 3lb or more: 4 winners

8st 9lb – 9st 2lb: 8 winners

8st 8lb or less: 3 winners



Further Stats


Nine of the last 15 winners of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup have been trained by either David Nicholls or Kevin Ryan.


Horses that don’t make the cut for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup can run in the Ayr Silver Cup or Ayr Bronze Cup


No winner aged 7 years or older since Hard To Figure in 1993


The last winning favourite was 3-1 victor Coastal Bluff in 1996


Last year’s winner Louis The Pious was the shortest-priced winner since 2001 (10/1)

The biggest priced winners since the turn of the century have returned at 33-1 (in 2000 and 2004)


The average SP of the winner in the last 15 renewals is just under 18/1


For further information on the betting market please visit:



Picture by: JEFF HOLMES/PA Archive/PA Images