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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Racecourse fate to be decided
Meetings board at Ayr
The course needs refurbishment
The future of financially-troubled Ayr racecourse may be clearer by the end of the week.

Four companies - two Scottish and two English - are in the running to buy the course.

A preferred bidder is expected to emerge from financial presentations in Glasgow on Thursday, two days before this year's Scottish Grand National takes place.

The decision to sell the track with a price tag of about 6m was taken by the 500 members of the Western Meeting Club.

BBC Scotland sport reporter Geoff Webster said the club now faced a dilemma.

Chris Kennedy
Chris Kennedy: "Continuity factor"

Accepting a higher offer from one of the English bidders could put 10,000 in members' pockets but going for a lower offer may keep the course in Scottish ownership.

Alex Salmond, MP and punter, said: "That commercially orientated company must combine with having the deep pockets to invest but also must not only be interested in money and the bottom line.

"It must be interested in the future of racing in Ayr and in Scotland."

Clerk of the course Chris Kennedy added: "I would be very hopeful that ultimately the history of Ayr as a racecourse and its continuation would be the key factor."

Ayr hosts flat and National Hunt fixtures with at least 25 days racing each year

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