Twelve tracks hit Gold Standard

Twelve of Britain's 60 racecourses were named as the best in the country for racehorse owners, and awarded Gold Standard status for 2016.

Ascot was one of the courses to be awarded Gold Standard

The accolade, given in a competitive way for the second year, comes from the Racehorse Owners Association, the body that has represented racehorse owners for over 70 years and currently has in excess of 7,600 members.

ROA representatives visited every track in Britain at least once to assess all aspects of the raceday experience for owners. In addition, feedback was provided by hundreds of ROA members following their racecourse visits.

Racecourses are divided into two categories – large and small – with their classification decided by a range of factors, including the quality of racing and attendance figures.

The six tracks in each category that were considered to provide owners with the best raceday experience will hold the Award for the next 12 months.

Those awarded the Gold Standard were as follows:

Large racecourses: Ascot; Ayr; Cheltenham; Chester; Haydock Park; and York.

Small racecourses: Fakenham; Hamilton Park; Market Rasen; Musselburgh; Newton Abbot; and Nottingham.

Alan Pickering, Chairman of the ROA's Raceday Committee, said: "The competitive nature of the new ROA Gold Standard Award scheme has been seen to good effect this year.

"Many of those courses that demonstrated excellence in 2015 have hit even higher heights this year, whilst other courses have upped their game considerably and it is pleasing to welcome some new Award winners.

"There were also several courses that just missed out, and as a result of these near misses, next year will see the addition of two new awards – the Most Improved Large, and Small, Racecourse. In addition to providing encouragement to those who have nearly attained Gold Standard status, these new awards will hopefully incentivise those energetic racecourse managers who are some way off attaining the standard but could win a Most Improved award.

"It is sad to see that there are still some courses – large and small – who continue to fall someway behind the rest when it come to the owner's raceday experience.

"We will maintain a dialogue with all courses and seek to make improvements by encouragement. The ROA survey in 2016 clearly showed the correlation between an owner's race day experience and ownership retention levels and we look forward to working with those courses which do not meet the minimum requirements in 2017 and beyond."

Read More at Sporting Life

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