22 November 2009 – Sunday Times
THE billionaire Reuben brothers are poised to snap up Ayr racecourse, home to the Scottish Grand National, in a £12.5m deal. It is understood the brothers, who will add the course to their Northern Racing empire, are just days away from announcing a deal with owners Richard Johnstone and Alan Macdonald.
Scotland’s premier racecourse was put up for sale earlier this year. The deal is thought to include the Western House hotel next to the course. The six-furlong Ayr Gold Cup, run in September, is one of the most competitive sprints in the Flat Racing calendar, attracting large crowds.
The Reubens — who made their fortune from property and metals trading — agreed a £66m takeover of Northern Racing, owner of Chepstow, Uttoxeter and Bath racecourses, two-and-a-half years ago. They also have a 26% stake in Arena Leisure, owner of the oldest classic race in the world, the St Leger.