Ayrshire Post

GOLD CUP FEVER

- PAUL BEHAN

We have some fantastic entertainm­ent all 3 days

Ayr is bracing itself for a bumper weekend to the local economy as the countdown begins to this weekend’s William Hill Gold Cup festival.

Up to 20,000 racing fans are expected to come from far and wide to witness Scotland’s biggest and richest flat race meeting that gets underway tomorrow ( Thursday).

Shops, bars, hotels, taxi firms and eateries are expected to benefit from a financial spin- off as the town welcomes thousands of visitors over the next few days.

Last year’s festival threw up the most dramatic Gold Cup race ever when Baron Bolt and Son Of Rest crossed the line in unison for a dead heat.

It was the first time two horses shared the spoils in Scotland’s richest flat race and with first and second prizes being split equally they picked up £ 80,000 each.

And Son Of Rest also became the first ever Irishtrain­ed horse to win the race in its 214- year history.

Some are predicting that the local economy will be boosted by several million pounds over the course of the next few days.

And in addition to great racing, there is star- studded entertainm­ent headed by former X Factor and I’m A Celebrity Star Fleur East who will perform a DJ set after racing on Friday, which is Ladies Day.

C o u n c i l l o r B r i a n McGinley, economy and culture portfolio holder at South Ayrshire Council, said: “We recognise the importance of traditiona­l events like the Ayr Gold Cup in helping to promote the uniqueness of Ayr and it’s a prime example of one of the major attraction­s that South Ayrshire has to offer.”

ITV Racing will once again cover the big day with their team of presenters and pundits headed by Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani and including Matt Chapman, Jason Weaver and Luke Harvey.

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “We are all looking forward to an exciting festival.

“In addition to the finest flat racing seen in Scotland, we have some fantastic entertainm­ent all three days.

“We are also delighted to welcome the ITV team back to Ayr.

“The racecourse is integral to the community and at festivals like this the entire area benefits.”

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 ??  ?? Packed The racing fraternity will be out in force at Ayr Racecourse this week
Packed The racing fraternity will be out in force at Ayr Racecourse this week
 ??  ?? Attraction Former X- Factor star Fleur East set to perform
Attraction Former X- Factor star Fleur East set to perform

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