DAVID BROWN is confident Scottish racing can continue to go from strength to strength as Ayr gets set to host the jewel in the flat crown this weekend.

More than £700,000 in prize money will be won over the three days of action, with Saturday’s William Hill Gold Cup the showpiece race of the meeting.

It will cap an encouraging few months for the sport in Scotland, the highlight of which was One for Arthur’s stunning Grand National victory for Kinross trainer Lucinda Russell.

And Ayr Managing Director Brown is pleased to see racing on an upward trajectory once again as trainers from north of the border make their mark at home and further afield.

He told SportTimes: “I am probably an optimist by nature, but there is no doubt about it that racing in Scotland is definitely in a better place than it has been in the past.

“I don’t know the stats off the top of my head, but Keith Dalgleish has a huge number of horses in training now, and a number of two-year-olds as well. Someone said to me that Iain Jardine had an open day on Sunday, he has something like 70 horses in training, and there were 400 that went along.

“The more prize money that is available, the more the sport can continue to grow. Syndicates will be something that will hopefully grow as time goes on and there is an accessibility for people to racing horse ownership.

“I would say that Scottish racing, on the whole, is in a positive place and a positive frame mind, and that is amongst all of the courses here.”