SCOTTISH COLUMN By Gordon Brown

Published 2019/11/15

In its first year, the Diversity & Inclusion Award was won by Scottish Racing and their fantastic partnership with William Hill and Alzheimer’s Scotland to ensure that racing in Scotland was dementia-friendly and a welcoming day out for all who attended.

Operational Excellence was awarded to 2019 hosts Hamilton Park on account of the business-change project to include an on-site hotel, transforming the venue from racecourse to resort.

Musselburgh were crowned best racecourse for Owners’ Experience thanks to their fantastic raceday team led by Jane Walker. Racehorse Owners’ Association members were instrumental in placing Musselburgh on the shortlist with their nominations demonstrating how popular the racecourse is amongst this vital customer group.

Perth got highly commended in the Food & Beverage category while the course’s Morag Connaghan was credited with a special mention and was presented with a memento on the stage.

Ayr and Kelso were also both shortlisted for various awards and teams from each of the two tracks were in attendance.

Kelso were runners-up to York in the Groundstaff Award while Ayr were finalists In Love Of The Sport with Five Go Racing. Meanwhile Sandy Thomson returned to form at Kelso when striking with Caventara, which was his only winner from 66 runners since the beginning of March.

Now is the time of year to follow his Berwickshire stable as in the previous five seasons - between November and February - it has operated at a near 20 per cent strike-rate returning over £180 to a level £1 stake.

The all-the-way success of Caventara was, of course, also the first victory for Sandy’s stepson-in-law Ryan Mania after he came out of a five-year retirement.

It was the 30-year-old’s ninth ride since his recent comeback.

No racing in Scotland this week but our owners, trainers and jockeys will no doubt be well represented at the meetings taking place at the likes of Hexham, Catterick, Newcastle and Haydock Park.

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