Alan Hatherley, Estates Manager at Newmarket Racecourses, will spend two weeks in Australia shadowing and supporting the Grounds Team at Flemington Racecourse in the lead up to November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, which features the famous Emirates Melbourne Cup.
In a unique partnership between The Jockey Club and Victoria Racing Club, Alan will have the chance to observe and support preparations in the lead up to one of Australia’s biggest national events from the perspective of the Groundstaff team. This follows an exchange whereby Liam O’Keeffe, Assistant Track Manager at Flemington Racecourse, visited Newmarket Racecourses in May this year. Liam shadowed Alan and the Newmarket Racecourses’ Estates team in the lead up to the QIPCO Guineas Festival, which features the first two British Classic races of the year, the QIPCO 2000 and QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
Alan started his career in Estates Management when he worked as a Greenkeeper at a Golf Club. This was then followed by a stint at Guards Polo Club before starting his first job in horseracing at Royal Windsor Racecourse. Following two years at Windsor, he then joined The Jockey Club as Assistant Estates Manager at Newmarket Racecourses before being promoted to Estates Manager.
He was awarded the opportunity following a competitive internal process and will share his learnings with the rest of the Group Groundstaff when presenting his findings at the Jockey Club Racecourses Head Groundspersons’ Seminar. He is due to fly to Australia at the end of October when the Flemington team will be in the last stages of preparations before the start of the international festival on Saturday 4th November with the Emirates Melbourne Cup taking place on Tuesday 7th November.
Michael Prosser, Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses’ East Region, said:
“It has been great to work with our contacts at Victoria Racing Club to develop and achieve this reciprocal programme for two of our key Groundstaff personnel.
“We very much enjoyed hosting Liam when he came over in May and hearing about his team’s approach to preparing for a globally renowned festival, like we do here at Newmarket Racecourses. It is a great opportunity for Alan and it will be really interesting for him to see how the Flemington team deliver their biggest festival.
“Not only has this exchange provided two very worthy staff members with a unique opportunity, it will also provide each of our teams with further knowledge and insight through shared learnings.”
Alan Hatherley, Estates Manager at Newmarket Racecourses, said:
“This trip to Melbourne is an incredible opportunity for me. It really is once-in-a-lifetime stuff. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from the team at Flemington and be able to share that knowledge and understanding with the fantastic team we have back here in Newmarket and across The Jockey Club.”
Neil Wilson, Interim Chief Executive of Victoria Racing Club, said:
“The VRC is thrilled to have Alan join our operations team for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, where he will experience the build-up and execution of one of the world’s premier racing events.
“The reciprocal arrangement between the Jockey Club and the VRC has presented a fantastic opportunity for Liam and Alan, and creates valuable knowledge sharing that both Clubs can benefit from.”