Racing: Chepstow Chasing New Course as Clarke Defends the Level of Prize Money at His Racetracks

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 11, 2003 | Go to article overview

Racing: Chepstow Chasing New Course as Clarke Defends the Level of Prize Money at His Racetracks


Byline: ALAN KEYTE

CHEPSTOW racecourse are aiming to set up a new three-mile chase course at the Monmouth-shire track. The course have approached the Jockey Club for permission to get their plan off the ground.

Chairman Sir Stan Clarke hopes to have the new circuit, which will breast the hills on the far side of the grandstand, in place by 2005.

The plan is to use the new circuit at least four times a year.

Clarke said, ``Chepstow is the centre of the horse in Wales and we want to make it special and different.

``Viewing will be no problem as we will have two big screens for racegoers, but you will be able to see the horses on the brow of the hill anyway.

``One of the charms of British racing is the variation and this new circuit will be part of the development of Chepstow as a grade one track.''

Meanwhile, Clarke issued a vehement defence against recent criticism of the prize-money levels at the tracks which come under his umbrella.

Clarke was responding to comments made by British Horseracing Board chairman Peter Savill that not enough financial commitment was being made by the group which oversees the running of eight British racecourses.

But Clarke issued a firm rebuttal against criticism of his stewardship of the courses and said, ``Northern Racing are committed to spending pounds 15-20m at the tracks we own over the next five years, a figure which excludes our investment at Chepstow in which we are shareholders.

``We are increasing prize-money, but we believe that you have got to satisfy all of our customers, from the sponsors to the owners to the trainers to the racegoers in the centre of the course at Uttoxeter.

``My company, St Modwen Properties, has never taken a penny of dividend out of all the tracks we own. …

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