Ayrshire trainers aiming for a happy new year on raceday

Ayr racecourse.
Ayr racecourse.

Ayrshire trainers will be aiming to make it a very happy New Year at Ayr Racecourse on January 2 by sending out winners.

Coylton’s Ian Duncan and Galston’s Mike Smith both hope to be in the Winners Enclosure on New Year Raceday, the track’s ever popular first meeting of the year.

Duncan is likely to saddle Lochnell, three times a winner at the course including in the corresponding race last year, in the three mile handicap hurdle at 1pm. The mare also won at the track in November and if getting her preferred soft going could be hard to beat with Derek Fox likely to be in the saddle.

Mike Smith’s horses returned to form at the last Ayr meeting in December. He will have a few runners on January 2 and ones to look out for include French import Las Tunas who could be aimed at the two mile handicap chase at 3.00 pm and Strong Resolve and Gworn who may run in the opening maiden hurdle.

The opening race on the card is due off at 12.30pm with the concluding contest, a national hunt flat race, being staged at 3.30pm. Gates open at 11am. The feature race is the five furlong handicap hurdle with leading Scottish trainers Nick Alexander, Lucinda Russell and Iain Jardine all likely to have runners.