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 

Tracy Gardner

Day Job  

Charity Travel Administrator

Location  

York

How Did you become a racing fan? 

From a pram! Yes, Mum & Dad took me regularly to York and Beverley from 18 months old.

Earliest racing memory?           

I was perched on Dad’s shoulders at York, and clearly remember seeing Paul Cook on a horse wearing a noseband, and I’m told I kept shouting, “come on the one with the noseband” (rumours that I was 27 at the time are way off the mark)

Fav Course & why?             

That has to be Newbury. We love the Hennessy Meeting (now officially the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival) and The Lockinge. You get the best of both worlds and can stand close to the likes of Paul Nicholls & co.

Fav 3 horses & why?  

  1. Frankel: An amazing machine and I saw him in the flesh more than once.
  2. Shergar: Like Frankel, the acceleration, but with the element of intrigue and of not knowing

what happened to him. Isn’t it crazy to think we once had a few of his offspring running?

  1. Denman: What a horse and what a character. I remember after he won the Hennessy, he was

back in his box after the wash down, and he spotted Paul Barber out of the corner of his eye,

clearly knowing who he was. I captured the moment.

Explain a day at the races using just 5 words? 

1. Winning

2 Anticipation

3 Excitement

4 Diversity

5 Beautiful

Most exciting day you’ve had?    

As a second year member of The Elite Racing Club, standing in the paddock next to Classic Winning Trainer Paul Cole to watch our horse Elite Justice run.

Why did you become a RaceMaker? 

My eldest son Matthew had done it and told me how enjoyable it was. So I did!

What’s your particular expertise?   

Paddock Watching, I’m told I have a good eye.

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

  1. Look around the whole course including the pre-parade ring, and get a feel for it.
  2. Spend lots of time paddock watching.
  3. Learn all you can about horses: bloodlines, conformation, characteristics etc.

Most enjoyable aspect of RaceMaking?

I love helping people, spending time by the paddock explaining things to new racegoers.

Any Hidden Talents?  

I’ve met my hero Alan Shearer, but not sure that’s a talent. I write a food blog, and would love to go on Come Dine With Me. I see Karen Read, another RaceMaker, might be on it, and I know Mick Quinn has been on. Rob Bracken, the GM at Leicester, won it! I love all things Italian, I do a mean lasagne.

Editors Note.

Tracy is a real character and simply loves racing. From the pram to the present, she oozes passion. Interestingly, her advice about learning about the horses themselves is terrific advice and she clearly has done that. She would make a good racing club co-ordinator and she is a shining example to anybody considering a RaceMaker role.