Staff at Bangor-on-Dee racecourses are celebrating after it was named as one of the best in Britain for racehorse owners.

The course, between Whitchurch and Wrexham, received the accolade  at the 36th annual Horseracing Awards of the Racehorse Owners Association in London.

It was joined by the famous Cheltenham course, as well as Musselburgh, and the three were among 12 of the country’s courses awarded Gold Standard status during the autumn.

Alan Pickering, chairman of the ROA Raceday Committee, said: “Happy racehorse owners say that a good raceday experience is critical in maintaining their loyalty.

“Earlier this year we revealed the six large and six small racecourses that have proved to be best at doing this. From these 12 Gold Standard Award holders we can now announce the outright winner in each class.

“Bangor-on-Dee and Musselburgh have been voted the joint winners of the Small Racecourse of the Year.

“Their dead heat epitomises the increase in standards across the board amongst the smaller racecourses.

“No form of modern technology could have split this dead heat, and tossing a coin would have devalued the concept.

“Bangor’s new Owners’ restaurant has proved to be one of the best-received improvements across all racecourses by the ROA membership.

“Combine it with a friendly and proactive workforce, complimentary wine and entertainment of placed connections, and you have a winning combination.”

In addition to the three winning racecourses, the finalists were: Large Racecourses - Ascot; Ayr; Chester; Haydock Park; and York; Small Racecourses – Bath; Hamilton Park; Market Rasen; and Sedgefield.

As part of the ROA Gold Standard Award process, representatives visited every racecourse in Britain at least once between January and October to assess the owners’ raceday experience.

In addition, feedback was provided by a record number of ROA members following their own racecourse visits.