Following the update provided on 24 June by Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) where ARC initially targeted a return to racing at Great Yarmouth Racecourse on 23 July, subject to continuing improvement of the racing surface, ARC can now confirm racing will recommence on Sunday 30 August.
The Executive at ARC and Great Yarmouth Racecourse, in conjunction with Professional Sportsturf Design and the British Horseracing Authority (“BHA”), have decided to give the track one further month for the turf to develop and strengthen before recommencing racing. This will safeguard the track as it will be lightly raced with six fixtures in 2015, including the three day Eastern Festival in September.
The later start date ensures the track will have a fair and safe racing surface for horses and jockeys which has always been the primary issue for consideration in all decisions taken in relation to the completion of the project and recommencement of racing. It also ensures the track will be able withstand racing for the rest of the 2015 season and that ARC’s £300,000 investment will achieve its long term aim of guaranteeing the racecourse will have one of the best straight turf mile tracks in the country for many years to come.
The recommencement of racing is subject to passing a BHA inspection which includes a trial gallop in mid-August. There were six fixtures which were due to take place at Great Yarmouth prior to 30 August. ARC is working with the BHA to find a mutually acceptable resolution and will be able to provide an update on where these fixtures will be hosted in due course.
Those customers who have booked tickets or hospitality for any of the transferred fixtures will be offered alternative dates (subject to availability) or a full refund. Great Yarmouth Racecourse Annual Members will be offered complimentary membership for 2015 (any annual member who has already paid will be refunded in full).
Jon Pullin, ARC’s Racing Operations Director, said: “We have always said we are committed to ensuring each of our racecourses provides the best possible conditions for horses to race on, be that a synthetic racing surface or turf. While we are keen to recommence racing at Great Yarmouth we can only do so when we are confident that the racing surface is absolutely safe for horses and jockeys and will withstand the remainder of the 2015 programme. We can now be confident that an extra month of growth will ensure the track will be ready for 30 August.
“I would like to thank horsemen and racegoers for the patience and support they have shown and apologise for any inconvenience caused by racing recommencing later than originally planned. This is in the best interests of Great Yarmouth Racecourse and means we can all enjoy racing at the track for many years to come.”
Glenn Tubby, Great Yarmouth Executive Director, said: “The team at Great Yarmouth fully appreciates the patience our racegoers, annual members, sponsors and horsemen have shown and are pleased we can now confirm when racing will recommence. Where appropriate we will be in touch with our customers on a one-to-one basis to make sure suitable alternative arrangements are made. We are excited to be welcoming back the racing community to Great Yarmouth next month and look forward to many great years of racing ahead of us.”
Anyone wishing to contact Great Yarmouth Racecourse to request further details or make a booking should call 01493 842527 or visit www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk.