Last night saw the launch of the 2018 season at Bath Racecourse, with a preview evening attended by guests of the racecourse from the Bath and Bristol business community.
Hosted by Ed Nicholson; Unibet Head of Racing Comms and Sponsorship and raceday presenter at Bath and Chepstow Racecourses, in conversation with Russell Smith; Acting Executive Director of the racecourse, Katie Stephens; Clerk Of The Course and David James; CEO of Visit Bath - the Bath Tourism Board.
Russell Smith spoke about the plans for the 2018 season, with good quality racing and lots of entertainment at the forefront and many new events and initiatives set to take place during the year on Lansdown. He paid testament to the amazing work Jo Hall (Executive Director) and her team have done at the racecourse, especially with regards to the redevelopment of the site, creating a first class venue for the area to enjoy.
“There is a real excitement around some of the events we have at the racecourse this year, including the inaugural Bath Cup Festival.” Said Smith.
“We are going to have a huge amount of entertainment across our feature days, including the creation of zones for families and social racegoers on the Good Friday season opener. We are creating a new brand, Lansdown Live, which is soon to be announced. This will encompass our live music offering and will give local artists at all levels a chance to perform at the racecourse.”
David James spoke about Bath as a destination and the importance of having quality entertainment and sport in the area.
“As a community, and as businesses, we are all much stronger when we work together.
“Bath is a destination that attracts many visitors and it’s important to have top quality sport and entertainment on offer, which we have with the rugby and the racecourse. We are thrilled to be working closely with the racecourse and building events and experiences that the community can really get excited about.”
After a positive update about the ground work that has been completed on the track since being affected by grubs in 2017, Clerk Of The Course Katie Stephens talked about the racing on offer this year and changes to the prize money available for race horse owners.
“We have another big prize pot on Good Friday and so can expect to see more of the high quality racing that we had last year.
“The Bath Cup will have a greater prize fund and it will be a weekend of racing that rewards trainers who come to race at Bath regularly. It’s going to be a super weekend and I think it’s something for the community to really get behind.”
Before a conclusion to proceedings Catering Manager, Sam Knight talked about the food and the excellent work that the Executive Chef, Jon Williams and his team are doing.
“Our food offer really is first rate across all levels, from public food outlets to fine dining in the restaurant. It’s a real credit to Jon and his team. He has a lot of experience and everything for our racedays and conferences is made in house. The produce is all locally sourced and we take great pride in working with local suppliers to serve our guests with top quality food.”
Following the great success of working with Michelin Starred Chef, Josh Eggleton for Ladies’ Day last year, Sam eluded to an extension of this trial in 2018.
“We are always trying to come up with ideas and love to try something new. Having Josh from the Pony and Trap put on a package as guest chef last year was a big success and we’re hoping to build on this idea. We have such a talented team here and good relationships with other talent in the area, so why not make the most of this and put on something really special for our customers? We are looking at the possibility of opening up the restaurant on other days throughout the year so that people don’t only have 23 days in the year to enjoy what is on offer.”