Warwick Racecourse will raise a glass to its local community at an upcoming raceday celebrating the town.
The racecourse is encouraging people to come and celebrate the heritage of the town at the Proudly Warwick Raceday, as well as inviting local businesses to showcase their role in the community.
It is one of the most lucrative racedays of the season at Warwick, boasting £100,000 in prize money across an eight race card.
Highlights include the £30,000 Wigley Group Carnival Chase, the £25,000 Feldon Dunsmore Building Solutions Hurdle and The Hook Norton Brewery 1849 Classic Coronation Handicap Hurdle.
Proudly Warwick Raceday is the third instalment of the Qatar Airways May Racing Carnival at Warwick and will take place on Wednesday, May 23.
The raceday will also feature the third annual Jockey Club Challenge Charity Race, which raises money for the Air Ambulance Service and has raised more than £35,000 for the charity in the last two years.
The carnival got off to a flying start on Bank Holiday Monday with Kids Carnival Day, which welcomed 6,686 racegoers and marked the biggest crowd at the racecourse in more than 20 years.
Andre Klein, general manager of Warwick Racecourse, said: “We are proud of our racecourse and of the improvements made on and off the track in recent years which has seen attendances grow.
“We are also really proud to be part of the community and on this raceday, we particularly focus on our locals and hope that they will join us in celebrating our great town.
“We are also pleased to be welcoming local businesses to exhibit a stand to showcase what they do for the local community and would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved.
“Proudly Warwick is the stage for some of Warwick’s best racing and our feature races on the day are likely to throw some future stars into the history of our track.”
Warwick Racecourse was a finalist for the Community and Corporate and Social Responsibility Award at the Racecourse Association’s Showcase Awards 2017 for its work on the St Mary’s Land Masterplan.
The new-look entrance, opened by the Mayor of Warwick, Cllr Stephen Cross earlier this year, was the first step of the masterplan to improve the common land which is home to the racecourse and other community assets.
The racecourse is one of the oldest in the country with racing being traced back to as early as 1694, when the sport was introduced as part of efforts to rebuild the town after the Great Fire.
Cllr Cross said: “The increased attendances at Warwick Racecourse are making quite a difference in the local economy which harks back to why the people of the town thought it was a good idea to first establish racing in the town.
“The fact that we have an annual raceday celebrating Warwick reflects that history and it is a great tradition to have.”
Growing attendances at the racecourse particularly benefits local publicans, including Tom Douglas, landlord of The Old Post Office.
He said: “We have a noticed a difference in trade on racedays. People come from all over for the racing here which is good for the town and we see racegoers coming in to us before and after the meetings.”
Bear, manager of The Globe Hotel & Restaurant, added: “We do see a boost in sales on racedays so the racecourse is very good for local business in attracting people to the town.”
Gates open for the Proudly Warwick at 12.10pm, with the first race at 2.10pm and the last at 5.45pm. Advanced tickets for the main enclosure are £15 before midnight on May 22.
For more ticket information, call 01926 405560 or go to www.warwickracecourse.co.uk
PICTURE CAPTION: Pictured raising a glass to the town are the Mayor of Warwick, Cllr Stephen Cross, with Hook Norton Brewery’s dray and shire horses Lucas and Nelson and groom Roger Hughes, and, from left to right, Tom Douglas, Elizabeth Csak, Andre Klein and Bear.