Andre Klein is General Manager at Warwick Racecourse. In his latest column with the Observer he reviews a successful start to the season and looks forward to welcoming a gold medal winner and the Oscars of the horse racing industry.
“Like any other responsible business, Warwick Racecourse is delighted when we increase the number of customers using our services. So naturally, we are pretty pleased when things go right and we can report to all the racecourses in The Jockey Club group, the day after racing that we have seen an increase in attendances and field sizes.
“I like seeing Warwick’s name up in lights, talking ourselves up a bit, and reminding our peers we are capable sorts and worthy of attention. Our success also directly supports the wider racing industry as thanks to being part of The Jockey Club any profits get reinvested back into British Racing.
“So I’m pleased to report first two meetings of the 2016/17 season at Warwick have gone to plan, in fact better than plan and in both cases we have seen attendances significantly up on previous years and hospitality bookings have seen our facilities at capacity. It’s been a good morale booster for everyone and gives us a bit of confidence that things are going the right way and dare I say it, we are doing things right. Fingers crossed our good fortune continues.
“We next race on Friday, November 4 and we are looking forward to welcoming a local legend to the course in double Olympic gold medalist, Nick Skelton. Nick is attending as a special guest speaker and will be talking about his incredible career in equestrian sports which pinnacled this year when he stood at the top of the podium in Rio.
“As many of you will know. Nick’s sporting legacy extends beyond the show jumping arena as he is the father of Alcester-based racehorse trainer, Dan Skelton and his younger brother, leading jockey, Harry. Both are amongst the leading lights in their chosen fields within horse racing and are great adverts for racing in the Midlands.
“So you can enjoy Nick Skelton’s company we have put a special package together that includes admission to the races, entrance to the Paddock Pavilion, tea and coffee on arrival, a tipster talk, a hog roast lunch and an interview with Nick Skelton by Rishi Persad from Channel 4 Racing. In my opinion, £30 for this package is great value. Call the racecourse to make a reservation or book your ticket on-line on our website.
“I’m also pleased to say that we received some great news the other day. Our 2016 season innovation, the three-day Warwick May Racing Carnival, which was a huge success figuratively speaking, has made the finals of the Racecourse Association Showcase Awards. These awards are our industry’s version of the Oscars and it’s been a long while since Warwick featured.
“We are up against tough competition including Newmarket’s 350th celebration, so we would only be an outside chance but at least we are in the race and occasionally big priced runners can beat the favourite. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!”