YORK'S racecourse has been voted best in the country ahead of tomorrow's third meeting of the season on the Knavesmire.

The title is awarded by the The Racegoers Club and follows their annual survey of members.

It is the first time since 2003 that York has landed the award after 13 years of dominance by Cheltenham, the country's biggest National Hunt track.

Members were asked to rate courses in five categories; viewing experience, facilities, food and beverage, atmosphere and value for money.

The courses were split into three geographical regions and the winners were those who had the highest overall average across all categories.

William Derby, chief executive and clerk of the course at York, said: "The best awards to win are always those voted for by your customers, so it gives me great pleasure to be able to thank the Racegoers Club for this honour.

"As has been well documented, the standards across all racecourses just keep on improving - so it is a real tribute to everyone involved with York that we have managed to secure the top spot.

"I am sure that the spirit of friendly competition will see the team at Cheltenham keen to take back the crown," he added. "But we are already working hard to retain it with our 2017 season under full steam.”

Having won the national title, York also retained the title of best large racecourse in Scotland and the North for a record 27th time. Kelso won the regional award for best small course.

Managed by the Racecourse Association, the Racegoers Club is the official supporters club of British Racing.

The club champions race-going across the country, supporting its members and ensuring that race-goers have a voice within the industry.

Formed in 1907, the Racecourse Association is the trade association for 59 British racecourses.

York's two-day June meeting starts on Friday at 1.50pm.