Quality Assured Racecourses—a Fantastic Day Out

• Chester Racecourse named amongst the top 11 racecourses for raceday experience by VisitEngland

• All British racecourses accredited as ‘good’ or better

• Year-on-year scores increase by 3% as record average score achieved

Chester Racecourse has been confirmed as one of the top 11 racecourses to visit in England and Wales by national tourist board VisitEngland as part of the Racecourse Association’s (RCA) Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme (QARS).

In 2018, the RCA’s QARS once again saw all British racecourses accredited as ‘good’ or better as average scores increase to 83%. This score is the highest on record for this scheme, demonstrating the continued investment in raceday experience by British Racecourses.

Each racecourse is visited by a trained assessor from VisitEngland whose job is to objectively assesses the raceday experience. This assessment includes all customer touchpoints from the raceday and also comprises pre and post event information.

VisitEngland, responsible for all assessments in England and Wales, confirmed the top 11 racecourses for raceday experience in 2018 were (alphabetised): Aintree, Ascot, Beverley, Cheltenham, Chester, Newbury, Newmarket (July), Ripon, Uttoxeter, Wincanton and York. The benchmark score to be included in this prestigious company was 88%.

Paul Swain, the RCA’s Brand & Experience Manager, commented “the Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme is a much-valued offering from the RCA in that it provides an expert, objective assessment of the raceday experience. More importantly, the feedback and evidence generated help racecourses to improve this year on year which I am delighted to say has been reflected in the scores.”

Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland Director, said “Our research shows that people want to visit our globally renowned racecourses with their historical pedigree and atmospheric race-day experience. The RCA Excellence accolades reinforce what people already know, that a day at the races in England and Wales is a world-class day out.

“And with racecourses dotted around England and Wales more visitors are travelling to experience all that a race-day has to offer, boosting the local economy throughout the year.”

A Journey to Celebrate the Tradition and Heritage of British Horse Racing


The relationship between the British royal family and horse racing in the United Kingdom dates back hundreds of years. And today Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II shows a very distinct interest in this royal sport. Marie Claire Arabia had the golden opportunity to attend the moment Her Majesty presented the award to the winners at Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse, which was held on the 21st of October.

Our first stop was Windsor Castle, which has been a residence of the British Royals for over 900 years starting with William the Conqueror through until this date. The moment we stepped into this magnificent place we were amazed by the history and authenticity radiating from every corner, not to mention the incredible, and luxurious interiors which pay unbelievable attention to every single detail. An authentic British journey is never complete unless it includes a visit to the 3-Michelin Star Waterside Inn restaurant in Bray Village, which has held those stars for over 30 years. Our visit coincided with the 45th anniversary of the restaurant. We had the pleasure of meeting with Michel Roux, the founding chef, and sample some of the most amazing French delicacies on the shores of Bray Lake, overlooking unforgettable scenery. And since Horse Racing Sport of Kings is a project funded by the Discover England Fund that includes providing luxury hotel itineraries, we were lucky to stay at the Coworth Park Hotel overlooking 972,000 square metres of lush green scenery. The exquisitely designed hotel includes 70 rooms and 30 suites in the Mansion House, in addition to 40 rooms and suites just a few steps away. Of course we cannot but express our utmost gratitude for the quality of service we received from the highly professional team, as well as a mesmerizing dining experience at Michelin Star Restaurant Coworth Park, sampling the dishes of the world-renowned Chef Adam Smith.

We also visited the horse racing tracks and stables of Newmarket. Our stop was Egerton Stud, where we were greeted by a chill breeze and an astonishing country house. This house was the home for many champions and winning horses in the mid 19 century, while the Prince of Wales was a regular guest. We toured the stables guided by the trainers, who take great care of the horses’ training and grooming for the royal races. We were soon drawn to these majestic creatures, and got to learn their names, riders and the races they won. It is worth mentioning that this regal sport is supported by several partners; including Jockey Club Rooms, the home of British Horse Racing, established in 1750 by a number of horse racing enthusiast noblemen. We toured the club learning about the history of the place, where the paintings told a story of glory that will stay with us forever. Our amazing experience came to an end, but we were able to visit a world of fantasy, and grew our love of horseback riding, hoping to feel, even for just a moment, what the jockeys feel riding on the track at the Ascot races.

Written by: Cynthia Succar - Visit the Arabic Version Here

Large Racecourse of the Year for Horserace Owners

Chester and Bangor-on-Dee Racecourses have been named as the best in Britain for racehorse owners, with Chester being awarded Large Racecourse of the Year.

The awards were made on Thursday evening at the 37th annual Horseracing Awards of the Racehorse Owners Association, sponsored by Zeus Capital, at London’s InterContinental Hotel.

The two venues, which come under the same independent ownership of Chester Race Company, were among 15 of the country’s racecourses awarded Gold Standard status during the autumn.

The ROA also identified those racecourses which have made the greatest efforts without quite reaching Gold Standard status yet. ‘Most Improved Large Racecourse’ was Newbury and the ‘Most Improved Small Racecourse’ was Wetherby.

Chester and Bangor-on-Dee both led their respective categories with the ROA member feedback scores as well as impressing the ROA Raceday Committee with their forward-thinking approach.

Both racecourses include all of their fixtures in the ROA member benefit, the Racecourse Badge Scheme for Owners; each has owners’ facilities that have received significant investment in recent years; and owners with a runner are offered a substantial complimentary meal along with half a bottle of wine per person. Chester is also due to unveil a new owners’ entrance in 2019.

Alan Pickering, Chairman of the ROA Raceday Committee, said: “For our sport to retain its premier position, racing needs to attract and retain owners who reflect the diversity of our population. Reliance on a few wealthy individuals – welcome though they are – from home and abroad is no longer enough. We want salt of the earth Britons from across the spectrum to jump up and down chanting “we won the Derby” or “we won the Grand National”. To attract such people to racing, the quality of the race-day experience is all powerful.

“Those racecourses which succeed in obtaining the ROA Gold Standard accolade acknowledge the importance of making owners feel special. Chester and Bangor are not only Gold Standard recipients, they have proved to be ‘best of the best’ in their respective categories. Many owners have suggested that the staff responsible for the owners’ experience at these two tracks should run tutorials for their peers across the country. I could not put it better myself.”

Head of Racing at Chester Race Company, Andrew Morris, said: "We were delighted to win both the Large and Small Racecourses of the Year last night. We are committed to ensuring the Owners’ experiences at both tracks are the best they can possibly be and not wishing to stand still, we already have plans in motion to introduce new initiatives and facilities for 2019, which we look forward to unveiling soon.

"Many congratulations to all the racecourses shortlisted, providing owners with an experience that fits their crucial and integral contribution to our industry is a must to ensure the continued success of our industry."

In addition to the winning racecourses, the finalists were: Large Racecourses - Ascot; Ayr; Cheltenham; Haydock Park; and York; Small Racecourses – Carlisle; Fakenham; Hamilton Park; Market Rasen; Musselburgh; Perth; Sedgefield; and Uttoxeter.

As part of the ROA Gold Standard Award process, association representatives visited every racecourse in Britain at least once between January and October to assess all aspects of the owners’ race-day experience. In addition, feedback was provided by hundreds of ROA members following their own racecourse visits.

Chester Races

Travel Counsellors UAE

Representatives of Travel Counsellors UAE toured the five destinations and six racecourses involved in the project on the first “Sport of Kings” FAM trip. “Sport of Kings” is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund

The Discover England Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government-funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by parters in the public and private sectors.

The special guests from Travel Counsellors enjoyed a nationwide experience of English horse-racing and some of the country’s top heritage sites. Highlights included race days at Newmarket, the global ‘Home of Horseracing’, and Royal Ascot, with a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the parade ring at the latter racecourse. Also on the itinerary was a visit to Windsor Castle, a tour of the walled city of York, a trip to Manor House Stables in Cheshire, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art at Newmarket. Along the way, the group stayed in the sumptuous surroundings of The Mere Golf Resort & Spa in Knutsford, The Grand Hotel & Spa in York, The Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge and Egerton House in Newmarket.

"Sport of Kings is odds-on favourite for UAE agents"

Arabian Travel Market

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), is the leading global event for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry for the last 25 years. The event generates more than $2.5 billion of travel industry deals.

The annual business-to-business (B2B) exhibition showcases over 2,800 products and destinations from around the world to over 28,000 buyers and travel trade visitors across four days at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).

Over 39,000 travel professionals, government ministers and international press, visit ATM every April to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at Arabian Travel Market.

Beyond the event we continue to help professionals in the Arabian travel industry to drive commercial success with all year round opportunities to make connections and access to industry news and developments, trends and technologies from around the world. Through our industry networks, global reach and regional focus, ATM creates personal and business opportunities providing our customers with quality contacts, content and communities.


Dubai World Cup Launch 31st March 2018

"The Launch of Horse Racing - Sport of Kings"

"England's racecourses eye GCC tourism market"