Market Rasen Racecourse, which stages racing tomorrow (Thursday), was today named as one of the top tracks in Britain by the 8,000-strong Racehorse Owners Association.
It is the third year in a row the venue has received the ‘Gold Standard’ award which is now run on a competitive basis among the 61 racecourses in Britain.
Just 12 receive the accolade every year.
Representatives of racehorse owners visited every track in Britain at least once in 2017 to assess all aspects of the race-day experience.
In addition, feedback was provided by hundreds of ROA members following their racecourse visits.
“We are absolutely thrilled to retain the ROA Gold Standard for a third year in succession,” said
Nadia Powell, General Manager of Market Rasen Racecourse.
“Like our fellow racecourses in The Jockey Club, we place huge importance on our relationship with Britain’s horsemen – racehorse owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff.
“We’ve always had a strong reputation for excellent ground conditions and a varied race programme – and we provide the best possible race-day experience for owners.”
Among the recent innovations and improvements made by Market Rasen are:
Celebration for owners of horses that finish just behind the winner with the opening of ‘Buds Place’ as a permanent facility;
All racehorse owners and trainers are given a warm and friendly welcome by a dedicated team, plus a glass of Prosecco;
A new washroom was opened in July and has been welcomed by owners;
At every fixture, ten or more owners are invited to dine with the racecourse directors – ‘The Welcome Party’ - to provide a real VIP experience.
Alan Pickering, Chairman of the ROA’s Raceday Committee, said: “The competitive nature of the Gold Standard Award was seen to greater effect than ever before this year, with the closest finishes thus far.
“The decision-making process was really challenging as the vast majority of racecourses showed improvement, which demonstrates their recognition of the importance of owners, and keeping them in the sport.”
Venues awarded the Gold Standard are:
Large racecourses - Ascot; Ayr; Cheltenham; Chester; Haydock Park; and York.
Small racecourses - Bangor-on-Dee; Bath; Hamilton Park; Market Rasen; Musselburgh; and Sedgefield.
The 2017 Gold Standard Award holders will now be in contention for their respective category’s ‘Racecourse of the Year’ at the annual ROA Horseracing Awards to be held in London on Thursday, December 7.
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the ROA, said: “Our awards truly set the ‘Gold Standard’ that all racecourses can aspire to and we celebrate those which go the extra mile.
“Whilst several courses have unveiled new or refurbished facilities this year, we have seen plenty of other enhancements to the owners’ race day experience that make a real difference.
“These include the entertainment of placed connections, a welcome drink upon arrival and a thank you letter post-race day.”
Racing at Market Rasen tomorrow, Thursday November 9, starts at 1pm.
There is a total of £64,000 prize-money on offer, with the feature race being the Listed Bud Booth Mares’ Chase.
More details can be found at marketrasen.thejockeyclub.co.uk .