Market Rasen Racecourse has today (Wednesday, January 18) welcomed its new Chairman as racing gets under way for the first time in 2017.
Following his appointment by The Jockey Club, Tommy Cooper has succeeded Colin ‘Bud’ Booth who retired at the end of 2016 after 20 years as chairman.
Also leaving the racecourse committee were Lincolnshire racehorse trainer James Given and Phil Would. Taking their places are legal recruitment expert and solicitor Jeremy Bradbeer, estate agent Michael Tuck and Lincoln businesswoman Biddy Dudgeon.
Tommy Cooper, a chartered surveyor and land agent, joined the Lincolnshire racecourse’s committee a year ago and is a well-known figure in the sport, acting as a racecourse steward at several East Midlands tracks, including Market Rasen’s sister racecourses at Nottingham and Huntingdon.
“Racing has always been in my blood - and both my parents were racecourse stewards,” he said.
“My earliest memories are of the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 1963 won by Only For Life and bunking off school with my father to see Royal Palace win the 1968 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park in a photo finish from Taj Dewan.
“My best Market Rasen memory to date is probably ‘Rasen Rocks’ with Sir Tom Jones in August 2015 - an incredible night with thousands of spectators enjoying themselves. It was my first experience of an open-air concert.
“I think Market Rasen Racecourse is a very friendly place with a good fair track and it is terrific that we get such support from so many top-class trainers who make the journey to Lincolnshire and all the general public who come and love the place.
“It’s a happy racecourse with a great team running it.
“It was wonderful to secure a Gold Standard award from the Racehorse Owners Association in 2016 and my hope for this year is to make it even better and to have two outstanding pop concerts – the first of which is Olly Murs on Ladies’ Day, Friday, 2nd June, with the second artist to be announced soon.
“The new County Racedays that we have launched are a terrific initiative and I am sure they will capture the imaginations of our midweek visitors.”
The racecourse has begun 2017 with today’s opening County Raceday of the year.
As previously reported, during these midweek fixtures, which make up 40 per cent of the 22-meeting calendar, the track is adopting a ‘one enclosure’ policy, meaning everyone can enjoy the best that’s on offer for a very affordable price.
On feature days, the racecourse ranges from the Lawn Enclosure, to Tattersalls and up to the County Enclosure, with prices for the premier facility costing more than £20.
However, nine times this year, adults will pay just £12, while young adults aged 18 to 24, who register for a pass, get in for £6. Accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge. They can all utilise the County Enclosure, with the best views, bars and eateries – as well as the rest of the racecourse, including watching the horses in the parade ring.
Future County Racedays are Tuesday, February 7; Monday, March 27; Thursday, April 27; Friday, May 12; Friday, June 23; Thursday, November 9; Thursday, November 23; and Thursday, December 7.
For more information – and to buy tickets - visit - at www.marketrasenraces.co.uk.
Young adults, aged 18 to 24 years, can get half-price admission by registering at RacePass18to24.co.uk to receive a free RacePass membership card.
Senior citizens can obtain discounted admission by joining The Diamond Club, with details available online.