January 8, 2003 at 12:02 #4277
This morning in one of the Scottish Dailys..Gordon Brown wrote a piece on Ayr once again having no thought for the racegoer..they have decided to increase the price of admission to the Scottish National and Ayr Gold Cup day to Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40 an increase of almost 50%…I know many will say well it is National day but after having been to quite a few of the National meetings i won’t give them Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40 as the facilities at the track are woeful, and i know many who have stopped going to Ayr Racecourse as they feel it just isn’t worth it considering they can travel to Perth ,Hamilton ,Kelso and Musselburgh which are far more customer friendly courses.January 8, 2003 at 13:18 #102128WallaceParticipant
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Totally agree with comments about Ayr. Its gone downhill so quickly over the last few years, I need a special reason to go there. The management is totally incompetent and we can only hope for an improvement when the sale is completed.
The fiasco at the Boxing day meeting last year when they called the meeting off late, was a farce, when it was so obvious to anyone who travelled to the meeting there was no chance of racing. A grade one course that only has a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œrace dayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ÂJanuary 8, 2003 at 14:05 #102129
I have to agree with everything you say Wallace and what makes it worse is that they still believe they are the top track..white elephant springs to mind..compare it to Hamilton and there is no comparison alongside Musselburgh who have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years ..the steps from the bookies to the bar still kill me right enough..here is the article in full i hope Big Broon from ATR doesn’t mind me posting it here..HORSE RACING: GO AND TAKE A HIKE Jan 8 2003
<br>Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40 entry is a National disgrace<br> <br>Garry Owen (Gordon Brown)<br>
<br>AYR racegoers will need to stump up Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40 to watch the Scottish Grand National in April and September’s Ayr Gold Cup – a scandalous rise of almost 50 PER CENT.
The impoverished seaside track is desperate to raise cash and punters are being asked to pay through the nose.
But I’ve got news for the Ayr executive – it’s just not on. Are these people living in the real world?
Do they really think it’s fair to ask a man and wife travelling from Glasgow, Edinburgh or beyond to fork out Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£100 on transport and entrance money – before they even strike a bet or enjoy a snack and drink.
The early runnings of the Ayr Gold Cup were plagued by highwaymen.
But apparently nowadays you don’t need a mask to fleece punters with entry to the Club enclosure rocketing from Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£27 last year to a staggering Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40.
Management at the racecourse, which is currently for sale, have defended the massive hike, saying extra expenditure is incurred to cater for the big crowds.
But that excuse won’t wash with most of the Ayr regulars, many of whom have to settle for three per cent rate- of-inflation ceilings on their wage packets.
Disgruntled punter Rab Montgomerie – who runs a bus every year from his Falkirk pub – phoned the Record to complain.
He said: "We all thought Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£27 was too much last year and I’m sure there will be a backlash when ordinary working people are asked to pay Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40-a- head."
Another unhappy racegoer said: "To charge Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40 for one day’s racing – which isn’t in the same league as Cheltenham – is disgraceful.
"I paid the same to watch Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid in the Champions League final at Hampden Park."
However, Ayr clerk of the course Chris Kennedy defended the price rise yesterday.
He said: "Ayr may not be a Grade 1 course in terms of facilities but it is in terms of racing classifications and the decision for the increase was taken at a board meeting in the autumn.
"At last year’s Scottish Grand National meeting there were a lot of complaints about overcrowding and this rise is needed to help pay for easing the congestion.
"All the various options were discussed and the view was taken to look at the price structure. It is a substantial hike but where else can you get six hours of top class entertainment for Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40?
"If you compare our new prices with what is costs to get into the likes of York and Cheltenham I don’t think we are being unreasonable.
"There are 15 and 10 per cent reductions if you book between now and the end of February and I can tell you we’ve taken some bookings already without anything being said about the prices."
Leading bookmaker and rails layer Ricky Martin said: "I’m an annual member at Ayr and I can’t believe they’ve put the Club stand up to Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40.
"I know a lot of punters that come over in cheap ferries from Ireland but I can’t see them coming now.
"This will definitely see a decrease in business for all rails bookmakers."
Lorna Bromley-Martin of Scottish Racing, the umbrella body that represents all five tartan tracks, said: "My job is to market racing in Scotland as value for money and I very much hope these prices are reflective of facilities that Ayr can produce on the day."
Ayr are in talks with police with a view to limiting the crowd for the Gold Cup and Scottish National fixtures.
Sadly, those discussions may not be necessary as many punters won’t be able to afford to attend Scotland’s two showpiece events.
Common sense should prevail. It’s not too late for a re-think, Ayr.
<br>January 8, 2003 at 16:22 #102130Racing DailyParticipant
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"… where else can you get six hours of top class entertainment for Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40?"
Hmmmm, at every other racetrack in the UK maybe? Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â <br>And since when did Ayr start staging 12 races on a card? Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Last time I looked, a racing day lasted about 4hrs. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Slight exageration I think. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And that Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£40 probably doesn’t include the extortionate prices charged by Letherby & Christopher either, does it?
Not good at all. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Doesn’t bode well for publicising racing in a good light, do it?
Actually, I would like to know if there is a track in the uk that charges more than this (excluding Festival, Royal Ascot and Grand National).
It’s probably cheaper to watch the 2000 Guineas/Cambridgeshire at HQ now than the Ayr Gold Cup. Bit of a joke really.
(Edited by Racing Daily at 4:45 pm on Jan. 8, 2003)January 8, 2003 at 19:28 #102131dave jayMember
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Live just around the corner and we won’t be there.
Only a fiver to get in to see the fireworks on bonfire night though. There was loads of people there…….wonder if they’ll be on the rip off with that as well?January 8, 2003 at 19:54 #102134micky pMember
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40 quid to get in,to stand in a tip no thank you.<br>I had a letter published in the racing post 2 years ago about the state of facilites at ayr and vowed never to go back.<br>Its a shame the its the only place we get to see mccoy and his big name chums when musselburgh is frankly ten times better<br>LETS START A CRUSADE TO GET THIS STOPPED<br> THE PUNTER FIGHTS BACK !January 8, 2003 at 20:18 #102136Grey DesireParticipant
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It costs Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£42 to go into the county stand at the Knavesmire for the Ebor meet, but on an ordinary days racing it is half the cost. The cost for the main Saturday meets (timeform charity day and Magnet Cup day) it is nearer Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£30.January 8, 2003 at 21:24 #102138
Grey Desire a group of us go down each year to York and the reason we keep going back is because it is a great track with great facilities..Davie Jay we used to go to Ayr to most meetings but stopped because we felt it was nothing more than a rip off ..still miss the Prince of Wales across the road though.January 8, 2003 at 23:19 #102139griff11Participant
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Free admission and parking at Woodbine, any meeting, any time of the year including races such as the Atto Mile, Canadian International and the EP Taylor Stakes. Guaranteed a seat, inside or out for no extra cost, excellent facilities, endless choice of reasonably (cheap by UK standards) priced food and drink and 10 or 12 races to have a go at.
When they held the Breeders Cup, admission was 6 pounds and you weren’t confined to some obscure enclosure in the middle of the track, guarded by racecourse militia. Thesedays, to upgrade from excellent facilities to even better viewing costs the princely sum of 1.60(uk). For an excellent buffet, viewing with a TV monitor on the table, racecard, upgrade as mentioned and a panasonic view of the racecourse, the cost is around 11 pounds.
Racing in the UK is in the dark ages and the sooner it has a grand and radical shake up the better for everyone.
<br>Griff.January 8, 2003 at 23:44 #102142Jim JTSMember
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Ayr racecourse is going downhill fast…… get it sorted! :angry:
Hamilton sorted their problems and is now a lovely place to go racing! I’m sure Ayr can do the same, so let’s see it!
Ayr has nothing on Hamilton!January 9, 2003 at 13:17 #102146RichKParticipant
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"At last year’s Scottish Grand National meeting there were a lot of complaints about overcrowding …."
I doubt that will be a problem this season…January 9, 2003 at 21:21 #102150
Tony give me Perth any day over Ayr..atmosphere is brilliant..alongside Kelso as well..i think it says it all when no one in this post has had a good word to say about Ayr.January 9, 2003 at 22:01 #102151SeagullMember
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With a threat of war hanging over us and the ricin poison being found in London and poor old Les Dennis getting dumped by Amanda Holden and even Cilla Black leaving Blind Date all our Scottish members have to do is just moan about spending money. lol phunter!January 9, 2003 at 22:03 #102154
can ye spare a pound Guvnor its for my mum she needs her can of Special Brew..lol.January 10, 2003 at 13:28 #102155dave jayMember
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Unfortunately even the Prince of Wales (now The Crown) is ruined phunter, loads of bother and best avoided.
Seagull, what war?:biggrin:
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