By Will Bradley
Significant investment for another premier season at the popular track is giving Salisbury Racecourse a good run into the new season.
The racecourse team are gearing up for another successful summer of 16 flat-race meetings and live-music events at the famous course, near Netherhampton.
Clerk of the Course and Executive Director at Salisbury Racecourse, Jeremy Martin, is looking forward to welcoming even more racegoers and guests in 2017; starting with the first meeting on Sunday, April 30.
“This winter we have completed a £250,000 refurbishment of the main Bibury building’s top floor of hospitality boxes. These were constructed in the mid-80s and have only ever had occasional decorating.
“We felt it was time to bring the facilities up-to-date. We are thrilled with how it is looking, with state-of-the art facilities built to the highest specification. It means that over £700,000 has been spent inside the Bibury building over the past three years,” he told Valley News.
Salisbury Racecourse is a non-profit-distributing business with all money re-invested to improve facilities and increase prize money to attract the highest quality of racing action to the course.
“As a trust, we are able to re-invest back into the business by increasing prize money, and into the facilities, to keep them smart and appealing.
“People pay money to attend. We want to provide entertainment in a modern, clean and decent environment,” Jeremy explained.
He believes horse-racing has firmly established itself as a nationwide sport, and despite a packed schedule of after-racing entertainment, the focus at the racecourse remains on providing high quality horse-racing.
“We will pay out at least £1.1 million in prize money this season,” Jeremy revealed.
“People continue to enjoy horse racing. Nationally, over six million people a year attend each year and it is certainly maintaining its share in the recreation and leisure industry. We are introducing new people to racing by putting on high quality racing with evening entertainment afterwards. We feel we put on a good show and that is reflected in attendances,” Jeremy confirmed.
The racecourse is renewing relationships with Spire FM and The Chapel Nightclub with a host of exciting evening events. One of the most popular race day’s remains Ladies’ Evening on Saturday, July 15 which attracts around 7,500 people. Booking for the Bibury Enclosure for this event is always recommended.
The racecourse will also host two family fun days with the Summer Holiday Family Races on August 16 and 17, with free facilities provided for children. The August 17 race day includes Salisbury’s principle race of the season, the £75,000 Totepool Sovereign Stakes.
Recent high-class winners of the race include Side Glance, Afsare, Kodi Bear and Zonderland. With last year’s addition of a £30,000 Fillies’ Handicap, this is Salisbury’s most valuable raceday with £135,000 in prize money across seven races.
“Accompanied children aged 17 and under always get in free at Salisbury racecourse, so it is great value for a family outing,” Jeremy confirmed.
The racecourse also hosts wedding receptions, conferences, dinners and Christmas parties.
For more information phone 01722 326461 or visit salisburyracecourse.co.uk