Virgin Bet is to retain its sponsorship of the Ayr Gold Cup, Scotland’s most prestigious flat race, as part of an extended deal to maintain naming rights of the three-day Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival which runs from Thursday September 15th through Saturday September 17th.

Ayr Racecourse and Virgin Bet, one of the UK’s fastest growing sportsbooks, today announced the renewed sponsorship deal following the success of the inaugural partnership which commenced in 2021.

Once again, the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup will be the highlight of ITV Racing’s live television broadcasting on Saturday 17th September. ITV1’s coverage of the 2021 race reached 1.24m people, with a peak audience of 632k for the flagship race itself.

gold cupVirgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse, Ayr.

In addition to the feature race, the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup, the betting operator will sponsor eight other key races during the festival. As with last year, this includes Saturday’s Ayr Silver Cup, the Doonside Cup Listed Race, and the Firth of Clyde Stakes (Scotland’s only Group One race). Virgin Bet will also continue sponsorship of Thursday’s Kilkerran Cup and the Ayr Bronze Cup on Friday.

David Brown, Managing Director of Ayr Racecourse, said: “I know I speak for the entire team at Ayr in saying we are delighted Virgin Bet have renewed their sponsorship of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival.

“Virgin Bet is one of the fastest growing sportsbooks in the UK and it is an honour for us that they have once again pledged their support to the biggest and richest Flat racing festival in Scotland which is also one of the most anticipated fixtures in the British racing calendar.

“Sponsorship has never been as important to racing as it is now and to attract a sponsor of this magnitude underlines the importance of this Festival.

“We look forward once again to working with the team at Virgin Bet to deliver a memorable 2022 Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup.”

gold cupVirgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse, Ayr.


James McKay, Sportsbook Director at Virgin Bet added: “Following the success of last year’s partnership with Ayr Racecourse, we are proud to continue our sponsorship of one of the highlights in Scotland and the UK’s racing calendars.

“Virgin Bet continues to cement itself as a leading runner in horse racing, and following the popularity of last year’s festival amongst our customers, headlined by The Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup, it was only natural for us to extend our partnership with one of the biggest moments in the flat-racing season.

We can’t wait to once again support British racing on what I’m sure will be a thrilling three days at the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival in September.”

2021’s instalment of the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Festival attracted over 11,000 fans with a host of top horses, trainers and jockeys part of the illustrious event. Bielsa, named after the charismatic former Argentinian Leeds United FC manager, ridden by Kevin Stott, was first past the post of a top-class field to claim glory, joining an esteemed list of winners since the race’s inception over 215 years ago, in 1804.

Entries for the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup close at noon on Tuesday August 9.

About Ayr Racecourse :

Ayr Racecourse is Scotland’s Premier Racecourse and also the only Grade 1 course in Scotland.  It is home to the principal flat and jumps races in Scotland.

About Virgin Bet:

Virgin Bet was launched in the UK in May 2019. With access to a huge range of betting markets across all the top sports, as well as the nation’s most popular casino products, Virgin Bet delivers a top quality experience for its customers and has the perfect line-up top disrupt the sportsbook industry.

VIRGIN and the Virgin Signature logo are trade marks of Virgin Enterprises Limited and are used under licence



Author: Ken Sutton