RACING returned at Ayr Racecourse last Monday - the first professional sport staged in Scotland since lockdown.

The behind closed doors fixture was attended by key personnel only such as jockeys, trainers, grooms, racecourse staff, British Horseracing Authority officials, jockeys’ valets and security with stringent protocols in place.

Everyone arriving at the track was given a temperature check and had undertaken a COVID-19 questionnaire beforehand and were required to answer further questions before being admitted to the site.

Ayr Racecourse managing director, David Brown, said: “It was good to be back and everything went well. We had not raced at Ayr since March 7 so it was a relief to be racing again and although it was behind closed doors it was important to see the return of professional sport and we have many more meetings to look forward to between now and the end of the season.”

He added: “It was a very surreal and eerie atmosphere. Normally, on a Monday meeting like that we would have had 2,000 people attending and instead we only had about 150 which were key personnel only.”

The highlight of the afternoon’s racing was the prestigious EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes, Listed Race.

Flying filly Que Amoro, trained by Michael Dods, was sent off 3-1 second favourite behind stablemate Queen’s Gift but after breaking well from the stalls she was always prominent and powered clear to win by three lengths from Irish raider American Lady.

Winning jockey, Paul Mulrennan, said: “She was always travelling well and put it to bed some way out. It was great to be back racing at Ayr and we were well looked after.”

Elsewhere, Ayrshire born Danny Tudhope drove the Keith Dalgleish trained Volatile Analyst to a neck win over Benefit Street in the Jordan Electrics Novice Stakes over six furlongs. He defied a 326 day absence to win well.

The next fixture at Ayr is on July 6, which will be behind closed doors once again with no firm date in sight for the return of spectators.


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