The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 17 December 2007

Ayr Racecourse wins top award for the fourth year running

AYR Racecourse has made it four in a row by being voted Racecourse of the Year 2007 for Scotland and the North East by The Racegoers Club.

Ayr also won the award in 2004, 2005 and 2006, which underlines the track’s status as not only Scotland’s premier racecourse but also one of the top courses in the UK.

The award comes as Ayr prepares to open even more new facilities in 2008. Work has begun on a £3.5 million Grandstand Bar which will cater for up to 3,000 people on racedays, and an Owners Bar incorporating a restaurant and with access to a betting shop. Not only will the latter be open to owners and trainers, but also those who wish to take out Owners Club Membership.

The honour from The Racegoers Club is particularly pleasing for those associated with Ayr, as the Club has 6,500 members who are all avid racegoers. Ayr has previously won the award 13 times since 1990.

Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol said: “I was delighted to receive this news. It is proof that the improvements we are making are appreciated by members of the Racegoers Club, who are in my eyes aficionados of the sport.

“To win this award four times in a row is especially pleasing, and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for us.”

ATTENDANCES at Ayr Racecourse rose during the 2007 flat season by 7% with an average of 3,934 per meeting.

The flagship flat meeting of the season, the totesport Ayr Gold Cup Festival, recorded its highest three-day attendance (22,000) for more than 30 years.

Other successes were the June Saturday meeting, with an increase of around 30% to 6,500, and the July Family Day which rose by around 10% to just under 4,000.

The 2008 season promises even bigger attendances, with Ayr hosting the Saints and Sinners Charity Night next June for the first time. Organisers have moved the meeting from Hamilton in a bid to increase crowd figures and raise even more money for charity.

Scotland’s premier racecourse has seen an upturn in fortunes since it was bought by Ayrshire businessmen Alan Macdonald and Richard Johnstone in June 2003, and the latest attendance figures are another major step forward.
The new owners have already invested more than £20 million in the course, and that will be increased over the winter with a new £3.5 million Sports Bar being built in the Grand Stand in addition to a new Owners Bar catering for owners, trainers and premium rate members.

Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol said: “These figures are a huge boost to us all at Ayr. We are striving to give the best possible deal to racegoers in terms of quality of racing and quality of the facilities, and these figures show we are getting the message across.”

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