Cheltenham Racecourse has retained its grip on The Racegoers Club's annual Racecourse of the Year Award with an eighth successive victory. York was the last racecourse to break that dominance in 2003 and took second place in the members' vote this time around, with Ascot a close third.
The Racegoers Club awards mean much to the winning racecourses, as the Club's 5,000-strong membership is widely recognised as being the heart of British racegoing with its members going racing on average 31 times per year.
In changes from the 2010 poll, five racecourses regained titles that they had previously held. Ffos Las, Perth and Ripon won back the Best Small Racecourse titles they held in 2009 (South West, Scotland & North East and North respectively) whilst Huntingdon (Best Small Racecourse in the South Midlands & East Anglia) and Uttoxeter (Best Small Racecourse in the North Midlands) regained accolades they were last awarded in 2008.
Ayr, York, Chester, Cheltenham, Newbury, Ascot and Windsor all retained awards they held from last year.
The full list of regional awards is as follows:
Scotland & North East: Racecourse of the Year AYR
Best Small Racecourse PERTH
North: Racecourse of the Year YORK
Best Small Racecourse RIPON
North Midlands: Racecourse of the Year CHESTER
Best Small Racecourse UTTOXETER
South Midlands & Racecourse of the Year CHELTENHAM
East Anglia Best Small Racecourse HUNTINGDON
South West: Racecourse of the Year NEWBURY
Best Small Racecourse FFOS LAS
South East: Racecourse of the Year ASCOT
Best Small Racecourse WINDSOR
Edward Gillespie, Managing Director at Cheltenham Racecourse commented, "We are delighted and honoured to receive this award for 2011 from The Racegoers Club at the end of a memorable Festival Centenary year for everyone at Cheltenham Racecourse. It is recognition for all the hard work that goes into this place from our committed team, but also a reflection of the wonderful sport that is provided by the horses, jockeys, trainers and owners. Any award that is voted for by your customers is highly prized and I'm very grateful that members of The Racegoers Club have seen fit to put us at the top of the list once again."
The Club recently announced substantial increases to its concession scheme, with a minimum discount of £3 across the board and 35 courses now offering £4 or more off admission.
With four horses in training for the current jumps season with Nicky Henderson, Philip Hobbs and Donald McCain, the Club's syndicates along with the improved concession scheme look set to contribute more racecourse visits than ever from Club members this winter.
The cost for 2012 is just £25 single membership or £40 double membership.
For more information contact The Racegoers Club's Chairman John Phillips on 01344 625912 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.racegoersclub.co.uk.