Cheltenham named Racegoers Club Racecourse of the Year
Cheltenham takes award for the twelfth year running
Ayr, York, Doncaster, Newmarket and Ascot take regional honours
Members of the official club for racing fans in Britain have voted Cheltenham as their number one racecourse for 2015. The vote across the 5,000-strong membership of the Racegoers Club saw the Prestbury Park track take the honour for the 12th year in a row despite ongoing redevelopment throughout 2015.
Ian Renton, Jockey Club South West Regional Director, said: “All of the team at Cheltenham are delighted to have won the Racegoers Club Racecourse of the Year award again for 2015. The past 12 months have been a momentous year for the course, with the completion of the £45million redevelopment and the feedback since we opened the final piece of the jigsaw, The Princess Royal Stand in November has been hugely positive.
“To win this for the 12th consecutive year is great news and we shall look forward to welcoming those in the Racegoers Club to the course over 2016.”
Many voters praised the quality of the new facilities. One member was particular impressed with a certain aspect of the redevelopment, claiming: “Spectacular parade ring, easily the best in the country.”
Another added: “Great racing, great atmosphere and always has one eye on the future. This course sets the bar high for others to aim at.”
In the separate regional awards Ayr took top honours in Scotland and the North.
Ayr Racecourse Managing Director, David Brown, said: “It is a great honour to win this award. This is voted for by regular racegoers so that makes it all the more pleasing. We are all delighted.”
York collected the North England regional award for a record 26th year. William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York, said, “We are thrilled and honoured to be voted for by the racing public. I would like to thank and pay tribute to the whole team at York who, like others in racing, work so hard to deliver successful and enjoyable racedays.”
Doncaster claimed top marks in the Midlands West and Kieran Gallagher, Executive Director, said they were very proud of the achievement. “Our team here at the racecourse work hard to deliver a great event on each raceday and are thrilled when this is recognised by people who visit our course.”
Newmarket took the Midlands East equivalent. Amy Starkey, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses East Region, said:
“On behalf of the whole team at Newmarket Racecourses, we are absolutely thrilled. We are proud to have been selected amongst the top racecourses by these members and we look forward to welcoming them to Newmarket Racecourses this year, the 350th anniversary of the Home of Horseracing.”
Ascot was the pick of the members in the South East with the South West and Wales going to Cheltenham.
For the same six regions there were also Small Racecourse of the Year awards.
Hexham collected the Scotland and the North category. Chief Executive, Charles Enderby, said, “I would like to record my most sincere thanks to all of our raceday team for their hard work to ensure racegoers enjoy their visit to Hexham. I would also like to thank the Racegoers Club members for voting for us, it is much appreciated.”
Uttoxeter was the most popular in the Midlands West and Market Rasen secured the Midlands East area.
David MacDonald, Executive Director at Uttoxeter, said: “The whole Uttoxeter team are delighted to have been recognised by the Racegoers Club. We have worked so hard on our raceday experience for all our customers, including owners and trainers. The opening of our new glass fronted panoramic “1907” restaurant on Betfred Midlands Grand National Day will add to the enjoyment even more.”
General Manager of Market Rasen, Nadia Gollings, said: “We’re thrilled to have been given this award once again by the most regular visitors to racecourses in Britain. To be recognised by the most enthusiastic racegoers for providing high quality jump racing and facilities for spectators is a real feather in our cap.”
Ripon collected the Northern England category for the second year running. Managing Director and Clerk of the Course James Hutchinson said: “Back to back wins of this award is a real credit to the work put in by all the team at Ripon and gives us a target to continue aspiring to.”
Wincanton were top of the pile in the South West and Wales. Huw Williams, General Manager of Wincanton Racecourse, said: “It is a huge honour to have won the 2015 Racegoers Club Best Small Racecourse in the South West and Wales category. This combined is a fitting reward to the entire Wincanton team that put their heart and soul into their racecourse.”
In the South East Fontwell Park were winners for a 24th time. Max Roberts, Fontwell Park marketing manager, said: “We're delighted to once again win this award from the Racegoers Club. The team here at Fontwell Park work hard to make sure that we offer the highest levels of raceday experience, so to be continually recognised by such dedicated racing fans is great."