THE checklist covers everything from Tennents to toilets. One by one, David Brown has scored them off as the countdown has continued to the start of the Ayr Gold Cup festival.

It is a social occasion as well as a race meeting, a chance to mix and mingle whilst admiring the sporting talents – both human and equine – over three days of flat action.

The 22 races will see £730,500 worth of prize money distributed, with the highlight coming on Saturday as a classy field bid for William Hill Gold Cup glory.

Picking the winner of the main event is far from straightforward, much like the task that Brown, the Managing Director at Ayr Racecourse, has undertaken with his team to pull it all together.

The crowds will be wined and dined, while entertainment will be provided by the likes of tribute act The Beatles Revolution and Drums N Roses. This is a meeting where all eyes will be on the track, though.

“It is certainly the biggest flat meeting in Scotland, especially when it runs over three days, and there is a huge amount of infrastructure,” Brown told SportTimes.

“It is like a party that all comes together from a number of different component parts. There are temporary marquees going up.

“ITV4 will be here on Saturday, as will RacingUK, and the pictures will be broadcast around Europe, and indeed the world.

“As well as the racing, it is a social activity so you have food and drink companies coming as well. There are a number of things so that people can just come along and have a great day.

“The Scottish National has a bigger footprint in terms of the racecourse, but this is over three days rather than two days.

“There are great staff here and that is hugely important. There are good people and when good people work well, it makes my job easier.”

The highlight of day one is the Class One Doonside Cup, while the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes and Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes head the card on Ladies’ Day.

The Gold Cup is the most prestigious prize on offer, but the calibre of entries across the board is proof of the upward trajectory of the meeting.

“Last year we moved a Class One Listed race over to the Thursday from the Saturday, and this year we have managed to acquire another Class One Listed race,” Brown said.

“That means that over the three days there is great quality racing. It builds up to the Saturday and that is the best day, but on Friday there are two Class One races and we are attracting big stables and owners from down south.

“If you look back over the years, the Gold Cup meeting, in terms of the quality of horses on show, is improving year upon year.”

It was 11-1 shot Brando, trained by Kevin Ryan and ridden by Tom Eaves, that took the Gold Cup twelve months ago and this year’s renewal is another open affair.

Shanghai Glory for Charlie Hills currently heads the market, while Toscanini and Aelous, ninth in 2016, are also fancied.

“For us at Ayr, we are getting our preparations together but it is remarkable when you think about all the other people – like the owners and the trainers – that are focusing on this day from an entirely different perspective,” Brown said.

“The Gold Cup is a good case in point. There are people who have been trying to get their horse qualified to get into the race for some time.

“The ratings and the calibre of horse for the Gold Cup are going up year upon year. Probably horses that won it 20-odd years ago would actually no longer qualify into the Ayr Gold Cup.

“There are people all over the country that, when the race finishes, it will be the culmination of a years’ work.”

Those endeavours will pay off for one trainer on Saturday as the runners dash down the six furlongs with gold in their sights.

And Brown hopes the meeting will once again showcase Ayr at its best as the biggest names in the sport bid for success on Scottish soil.

“Prize money has increased over the course of the last number of years and last year we increased it to £200,000 for the Gold Cup itself,” he said.

“We have to invest in the whole programme and that means that owners are winning more prize money and they are more likely to reinvest in racing in the future. The more money that the sport can actually generate, the better it is for the industry.

“Here in the West coast of Scotland, it is fantastic some of the horses, owners and trainers that are attracted to the Gold Cup and the Scottish National. That is being recognised by the fact that ITV are coming here on Saturday and the event has steadily grown in recent years.”