sport news Ayr Gold Cup ends in dead heat for first time in more than 200 years

The £200,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup needed something special to erase the bad memories and embarrassment of 2017's waterlogged, abandoned edition and it got it in spades.

The first dead heat, which took more than seven minutes to be decided, in a historic race first run in 1804; the first Irish trained winner and the first time a winning trainer has used the winner's podium after Scotland's biggest Flat race to make a political point.

The 2018 Ayr Gold Cup had it all.

The £200,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup ended in a dead heat on Saturday

The £200,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup ended in a dead heat on Saturday

Honours were shared between 5-1 favourite Son of Rest, ridden by Chris Hayes and trained in County Tipperary by Fozzy Stack, and 28-1 shot Baron Bolt, trained in Berkshire by Paul Cole and ridden by 20-year-old Preston-born apprentice Cameron Noble who was having his first ride at the track and achieving by far the biggest win of his embryonic career.

Neither jockey was sure of the result with the more experienced Hayes, fearing he was 'a nostril from a P45' after his mount Son of Rest had hit the front far sooner than planned.

For Stack, 38, whose father Tommy partnered Red Rum to his historic third Grand National win in 1977 and partnered many winners around Ayr as one of the sport's best known jump jockeys, the overwhelming feeling when the result was announced was one of relief.

His runner had headed the betting in the build-up after finishing second in the Group One Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh six days earlier But he also took the opportunity to air a serious point. How will Brexit effect the transport of bloodstock between two neighbouring countries if hard borders are implemented and more stringent custom controls imposed?

Stack said: 'Son Of Rest had not done much all week at home and we were hoping and praying he was in good shape.

'It's a very prestigious race and I believe he is the first Irish winner. It's great to be a small part of history.

'He didn't get a lead long enough and kicked clear. I thought we were beat. The other horse got past us and probably went a neck up but we were getting back at the line.

'He ran a great race last weekend but I was bit worried after travelling 11 hours to get here. There is one thing I want to day about all this rubbish that is going in this country about Brexit.

'This horse left the Republic of Ireland, went into Northern

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