Ayr Racecourse is the home of the Scottish Grand National. Ayr is recognised as the premier Racecourse in Scotland, with the Scottish Grand National being the highlight of National Hunt racing calendar north of the border.
The course was opened in 1907 and stages both National Hunt and flat racing. However, racing in the Ayr region can be traced back to the 1500’s.
The National Hunt course was only added to Ayr in the 1950s which enable year round racing. The first Scottish Grand National was run on the course in 1966. Previously the Scottish Grand National was run on the Bogside Racecourse at Irvine. The closure of the Irvine course in 1965 gave Ayr the chance to stage Scotland's premier National Hunt race, which it has done every year since then.
The Scottish Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase for horses aged 5 and above. The course distance is 4 miles and 110 yards. The total number of fences to be jumped by the runners is 27. The fences are generally considered to be less formidable than those at Aintree.
The race also has considerable less runners than the Aintree Grand National, usually around 25. In many ways the Scottish Grand National is more similar to the Irish Grand National than it’s English counterpart.
Tickets for the Scottish Grand National can be bought online from the official Ayr Racecours website. Prices start at around £20 for adults and children under 16 go free (with paying adult). Ayr Racecourse also offer discounts for senior citizens and group bookings – see website for details.