Racemakers

Would you like to represent QIPCO British Champions Series at the races and help new or occasional racegoers learn more about the sport?

Would you like to earn free admission to the nation’s most prestigious racedays in exchange for you sharing your passion and enthusiasm for horse racing?

If so, then joining the RaceMaker team might be for you!

Overview

We're seeking racing fans to share their enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, the sport of horse racing and QIPCO British Champions Series.

In exchange for your efforts on behalf of QIPCO British Champions Series, you can earn free admission to some of the most prestigious race meetings across the country. You’ll also receive a free RaceMaker’s QIPCO British Champions Series jacket, shirt and baseball cap to keep.

The Role

We are assuming that, as a volunteer, a helpful, cheery and polite nature will come as standard! If it doesn’t, then volunteering probably isn’t for you.
Beyond that, we want you to be yourself. Racing’s audience is varied and colourful, so our RaceMakers should reflect that.

How you share your knowledge and how you interact with racegoers is up to you, although you’ll be well briefed before gates open on any raceday to make sure you’re up to speed on all that’s happening on the racecourse that day and to make sure you know where everything is.

In terms of your general approach to racegoers, it’s worth remembering that you’re the expert and they’re the novice, so it’s important to make the information you impart accessible and easy to understand. Give yourself time to answer general and varied questions.

It’s important to note that customers don’t need to enjoy racing on your terms, but on their terms – so there is no expectation that we’re converting newcomers into an army of experts!

We want novice racegoers to have fun. Our aim is to teach people more about racing, with the objective of making their overall experience as enjoyable as possible. We believe that once we’ve got them curious, they’re off!

Lastly, it should be acknowledged by all RaceMakers that they are there first and foremost to pass on their knowledge and passion to racegoers, so a proactive attitude is a must-have. Getting to see some of British racing’s most exciting races free of charge, all the while representing QIPCO British Champions Series, should be seen as a privilege, and we ask for dedication to the RaceMaker role in return.

The Racemakers’ Duties

Although we’d expect you to have a reasonable knowledge of all aspects of racing, we do recognise that you’re likely to have a ‘specialist subject’, so do let us know in the application form which of the below best describes you and we’ll try to make sure we have a reasonable spread of expertise throughout the RaceMaker teams at each race meeting:

The Paddock Guide – The paddock Guide will help familiarise racegoers with the racehorse, telling them what to look out for as the horses’ parade.

The Paddock Guide will also explain some of the mysteries inside the racecard, the significance of racing silks and all that goes on in and around the paddock and winners’ enclosure.

The Betting Guide – The Betting Guide will explain how betting works on racecourse – from the Tote to the Ring, the types of bets available and how to make them. Racegoers also will be taught about odds and some of the slang surrounding them.

The Betting Guide will also share some insights into the form, explaining what to look for in a racecard and how to make a quick assessment of a horse chances.

The Racecourse Guide – The Racecourse Guide will provide help to racegoers who are not familiar with the racecourse and need to find their way around. If you know one or two racecourses particularly well, let us know!

‘Local knowledge’ will also be beneficial for this role. It’s great when the Racecourse Guide can share some of the course’s history with racegoers.

How Will RaceMakers Work On The Day?

You’ll need to be on course in good time, usually around an hour before gates open to the public.

We’ll meet at an arranged location to distribute all necessary material and make sure everyone in the team has met one another. We’ll then give you a tour of the racecourse and brief you on the day’s activities, both on and off the track.

When gates open we will ensure you are well spread out around the course, with most of the team members near the entrances, ready to greet racegoers. Around 45 minutes before the first race, you will make your way to the area of the racecourse from where you can best conduct your role – Betting Guide, Paddock Guide or Racecourse Guide. The latter of these three roles lends itself to more extensive wandering around the racecourse.

Generally speaking, we’d expect that you would remain based around these areas until after the running of the big race of the day (normally the third or fourth race). After that, you’ll be free to watch the remainder of the races. The longer you can stay to help the racegoers, the better!

The Boring But Important Stuff

RaceMakers will be responsible for your own transport to and from the venue.

As a member of the raceday team, you will need to attend a briefing with the RaceMakers’ manager on every occasion.

All RaceMakers will be provided with a food voucher to redeem when volunteer duties are complete, or a lunch bag.

All normal racecourse admission conditions will apply to RaceMakers, meaning you will have to abide by enclosure rules where applicable, including dress codes.

Dates for 2018

We need your help as a RaceMaker to make the QIPCO British Champions Series even better than ever before in 2017.

Share your passion with racegoers and volunteer this summer at the following Series racedays:

May

  • Saturday 05 May – QIPCO 2000 Guineas (Newmarket – Rowley Mile)
  • Sunday 06 May – QIPCO 1000 Guineas (Newmarket – Rowley Mile)
  • Saturday 19 May – Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (Newbury)

June

  • Friday 01 June – Investec Coronation Cup and Investec Oaks (Epsom Downs)
  • Saturday 02 June – Investec Derby (Epsom Downs)

July

  • Saturday 07 July – Coral Eclipse (Sandown Park)
  • Friday 13 July – QIPCO Falmouth Stakes (Newmarket – July)
  • Saturday 14 July – Darley July Cup (Newmarket – July)
  • Saturday 28 July – King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Ascot)
  • Tuesday 31 July – Qatar Goodwood Cup (Goodwood)

August

  • Wednesday 01 August – Qatar Sussex Stakes (Goodwood)
  • Thursday 02 August – Qatar Nassau Stakes (Goodwood)
  • Wednesday 22 August – Juddmonte International Stakes (York)
  • Thursday 23 August – Darley Yorkshire Oaks (York)
  • Friday 24 August – Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup, Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (York)

September

  • Saturday 08 September – Sprint Cup (Haydock Park)
  • Friday 14 September – Socialite E-Cigarettes Expert Doncaster Cup (Doncaster)
  • Saturday 15 September – Ladbrokes St Leger (Doncaster)

October

  • Saturday 20 October – QIPCO British Champions Day (Ascot)

Become a RaceMaker

Name:             Kate Austin

Day Job:         Retired Teacher

Location:         East London

How did you become a racing fan and when?            

As a little girl, my grandparents used to take me to Brighton and we would go to the races sometimes. But it was in 1999, when I stopped smoking (I was smoking 80 a day), that my real passion began. I had more money and wanted to spend it doing something I liked. My real love of the sport began.

What was your earliest horse racing memory?     

When I was a young teenager, I clearly remember watching racing with my grandfather, and seeing Arkle. Even then I was totally captivated by this imposing horse and seeing how good he was. The memory will never leave me.

What’s your favourite racecourse & why?        

Since April, when our mare Naranja, trained by Jamie Snowden, won The Seafield Trophy at Ayr, the Scottish course is my favourite. Before then though, without a doubt, it would be Sandown. It’s such a thorough test of a horse’s ability. The fences, the undulations, the lay out and that climb to the winning post. It’s a tough, true challenge for horse and jockey in every way.

Who are your favourite 3 horses & why?    

Executive Decision, the first National Hunt horse I owned is one. Lucy & Justin Wadham did a wonderful job with him. He was a real character, and they showed great care and skill in getting him right after injury. He won 3 races for me, but was a real handful for a jockey. Leighton Aspell was clearly the right man for the job. He brought the best out in him. Naranja, for obvious reasons, is the second. Finally it has to be Kauto Star (as I never saw ‘Dessie’ in the flesh). Kauto was simply wonderful.

Explain a day at the races using 5 adjectives        

Entertaining, breath-taking, anticipatory, mesmerising and educational.

What’s the most exciting day you have had racing?            

That would be 20th April this year, when Naranja won for us at Ayr. She’s just returned to Jamie Snowden’s after her well-earned holiday,

Why did you decide to volunteer to become a RaceMaker?  

I am secretary of the LRC, (London Racing Club), which is a fabulous setup, I love the involvement. Plus with 43 years teaching experience, I wanted to share my enthusiasm and actively promote a sport I love so much.

What would you say is your particular expertise?    

Interacting with the public. Whether it be taking trips down memory lane with racegoers or just engaging with them in general, regardless of age.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to a first time racegoer?

  1. Read the racecard from start to finish
  2. Try not to spend too much time undercover, have a good look around and take it all in.
  3. Go to the ‘PRE’ Parade Ring, before the horses get saddled, and watch them all closely. Their condition, how the horse moves and their overall demeanour.  A very important part of the whole race day experience.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of RaceMaking?            

Meeting the public, especially first time Racegoers. As mentioned earlier, being nostalgic with some and engaging and, hopefully, helping the new ones.

Tell us a hidden talent you have.          

Growing up, I was the only non-deaf person in my family, so I learned to sign early on in life. So BSL (British Sign Language) is an important part of my life. I’m also fluent in French.

Editors Note

Kate is the epitome of RaceMaking, with her extensive teaching experience, coupled with her undiluted passion for the sport and warm and helpful nature, she is in many ways a natural. A natural communicator, she’s as comfortable engaging with our much valued older racing fan as she is with a group of young, keen and enthusiastic newcomers to racing.

She’s very thorough in all that she does, as her London Racing Club role typifies. Kate is an integral part of the RaceMaking initiative. Passion, commitment and knowledge all rolled into one.