Warwick Racecourse is kicking on with a tour of Jump trainers around the country ahead of its second season as an all-jumps track getting under starter’s orders this month (September).
The visits build upon a consultation last year within the racing industry as part of Warwick Racecourse’s move to become an all-jumps track and vision to become one of the UK’s leading small jumps courses over the next few years.
The meetings aim to gather the views of trainers on its opening season with a jumps focus and to keep them informed of the racecourse’s future plans.
The tour began with Sulekha Varma, Clerk of the Course at Warwick Racecourse, visiting Lambourn-based trainer Oliver Sherwood followed by Dan Skelton, regarded as one of the country’s brightest young trainers, at his yard near Alcester in Warwickshire.
Since then she has visited Ben Case in Oxfordshire and Lucy Wadham in Newmarket, with meetings planned with other trainers in the coming weeks.
She said: “We have a good relationship with Jumps trainers and consulted widely with them, along with jockeys, owners, members and racegoers, over the decision taken last summer to introduce an all-jumps race programme.
“We were delighted with how our first season as an all-jumps track went and to have secured the same number of racing fixtures for 2016 as 2015, despite increased competition faced by all racecourses.
“These visits allow us to gain valuable feedback from trainers on our opening jumps season and to keep them up-to-date on our plans to build Warwick into one of the best small jumps courses in the UK.”
Dan, ambassador of Warwick Racecourse, is in his third season as a National Hunt trainer and a major highlight was a first win at Grade 2 level, and at Warwick, with Three Musketeers in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, registered as the Leamington Novices’ Hurdle, in January this year.
He said: “Warwick Racecourse’s willingness to work with jumps trainers and to find out what our needs and necessities are has been very evident throughout this last season, and now with this consultation.
“We appreciate having the input and it underlines the approach that Jockey Club Racecourses as a whole takes towards trainers.
“Warwick is in its infancy as an all-jumps track but has got off to a great start and has realistic ambitions for the future given the improvements already undertaken and planned.
“To have the facility to run into May at a track as good as Warwick will benefit jumps racing nationwide.”
Warwick Racecourse’s new season for 2015/16, which runs until May, gets underway with The Winner.co.uk Raceday on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 22.