Virgin Bet is to sponsor Scotland’s most famous flat race, the Ayr Gold Cup, and will also have naming rights for the three-day Ayr Gold Cup Festival which runs from Thursday September 16th through until Saturday September 18th.
Ayr Racecourse and Virgin Bet, the UK’s fastest growing sportsbook, unveiled the exciting new sponsorship deal during racing at the track (today) Monday.
The Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup will be run on Saturday September 18th and will be the highlight of ITV Racing’s live television coverage on the day.
In addition to the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup, the sportsbook will sponsor seven other races during the week. On Saturday, this includes the Ayr Silver Cup, the Firth of Clyde Stakes (Scotland’s only Group race), and the Doonside Cup Listed Race. Virgin Bet will also sponsor Thursday’s Kilkerran Cup and the Ayr Bronze Cup on Friday.
David Brown, Managing Director of Ayr Racecourse , said : “I am thrilled that Virgin Bet have chosen to sponsor the Ayr Gold Cup which is not only Scotland’s premier flat race but one of the most prestigious sprint handicaps in the racing calendar.
“It is exciting for the team at Ayr to welcome Virgin Bet as sponsors of both the Ayr Gold Cup and as headline sponsors of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival, along with several other races over the three days.
“Sponsorship has never been as important to racing that it is now in these difficult times, so it is with great pride we announce Virgin Bet as title sponsors of the Ayr Gold Cup. Virgin Bet is an exciting brand and I hope we can work together at Ayr for many years to come.”
James McKay, Sportsbook Director at Virgin Bet added : “We are excited to announce Virgin Bet’s new partnership with Ayr Racecourse, one of the great brands in UK racing. As one of the UK’s fastest growing sportsbooks, we know how much our customers enjoy the excitement of premier racing events at the most historic racecourses. The Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup will be a big moment in the flat-racing season, and we can’t wait to play our role over all three days at the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival.”
The roll call of winners of the Ayr Gold Cup down the years include last year’s winner Nahaarr and 2016 champion Brando, who subsequently went on to win a Group 1 contest in France. Other notable winners include Captain Ramius in 2012, and Lochsong, a former European horse of the year, who won the race in 1992.
Leading jockeys to have won the race include Frankie Dettori (twice), Paul Hanagan, Oisin Murphy and James Doyle.
Entries for this year’s Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup close on Tuesday August 10 at noon.