As Uttoxeter Racecourse prepares for its biggest annual fixture - the Midlands Grand National this Saturday - it’s all hands on deck to get everything looking its best.
From painting, cleaning windows, setting up bars and marquees and polishing the winner’s trophy through to preparing the course itself the entire workforce is at full stretch.
Uttoxeter Racecourse holds its annual Betfred Midlands Grand National racing event on Saturday 15th March and is the most prestigious in the Midlands racing calendar; now in its 45th year.
The second longest steeplechase in the UK after the Grand National, the Midlands Grand National rounds off the end of Cheltenham Gold Cup week in style with an increased £100k prize pot for owners, trainers and jockeys and £57k first prize for the winner.
Painter and decorator Victor Niemczyk with Abacus Limited has been involved in the preparations for the famous race for the last 15 years so knows the course pretty well. He said: “This place always looks its best for the grand occasion.” Meanwhile, window cleaner, John Tesh from Clean Quest says it takes two whole days to clean every window and added: “They will be sparking on the day!”
David Macdonald, Executive Director for the course said: “Getting the course looking perfect has been particularly challenging this year with the amount of wind and rain that we suffered in late February. Last week the sun shone for the first time and it then became apparent that we had a huge task to get things right in only two weeks! I am pleased to say our wonderful team of painters and builders and cleaners are well on course to have the whole site gleaming by 15th.”
Gates open at 11am on the day with the first race at 2.05pm and the last race at 5.35pm. Tickets for the day start at just £14 purchased online in advance for entry to the afternoon’s seven races and go up to the hospitality packages which range from £80 in the Hoops Bistro and Champagne Bar to £145 per person for a seat in the Final Furlong Marquee.
For tickets and more information go to: www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk