Cheltenham Racecourse has been voted Racecourse of the Year for the ninth consecutive year by members of The Racegoers Club. York, the last course to break Cheltenham's spell of dominance back in 2003, finished clear 2nd ahead of Ascot who just edged out Goodwood and Sandown Park for third place in the poll.
The Racegoers Club awards are always eagerly anticipated by the racecourses, as the Club's 4,500+ membership goes racing on average 31 times per year each so is perfectly qualified to provide the plaudits to the worthy national and regional winners.
In changes from the 2011 poll, Newton Abbot was the big winner, being awarded the Best Small Racecourse in the South West title for the first time. Wetherby and Market Rasen both reclaimed regional awards they last held in 2010 (Best Small Racecourses in the North and North Midlands respectively) whilst Fontwell Park is Best Small Racecourse in the South East for the first time since 2009 and Kelso reclaims an award it was last presented with in 2007, Best Small Racecourse in Scotland & the North East.
Ayr, York, Chester, Cheltenham, Huntingdon, Newbury and Ascot 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 KELSO
Racecourse of the Year YORK
Best Small Racecourse WETHERBY
Racecourse of the Year CHESTER
Best Small Racecourse MARKET RASEN
South Midlands & East Anglia
Racecourse of the Year CHELTENHAM
Best Small Racecourse HUNTINGDON
Racecourse of the Year NEWBURY
Best Small Racecourse NEWTON ABBOT
Racecourse of the Year ASCOT
Best Small Racecourse FONTWELL PARK
Ian Renton, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses in the South West, said: "I'm delighted that Cheltenham has won this title for the 9th time in a row. There are many awards handed out at this time of year, but the Racegoers Club Racecourse of the Year means as much as any of them, as it is voted for by our customers, who are regular racegoers here and elsewhere. This is a real boost for the hard-working team at Cheltenham and is also a tribute to the horses, trainers, owners and jockeys who provide such wonderful sport at the home of Jump racing".
The Racegoers Club, which provides concessions at all British courses, recently announced substantial increases to its scheme for 2013, with 38 courses now offering £4 or more off admission and 24 courses providing a saving at every fixture staged.
Members looking for the chance to experience racehorse share ownership at the lowest possible price can also join the Club's excellent syndicates, with shares currently available in horses with Nicky Henderson and Malcolm Jefferson for the 2012/13 jumps season. With stable visits and social events - including a marquee on all four days of The Festival at Cheltenham - held regularly nationwide, there are many ways Club members can connect more with the sport.