Newmarket Racecourses chief Amy Starkey is looking forward to the challenge of staging Dubai Future Champions Day on a week day slot.
As of next year Dubai Future Champions Day will be switched from its current position on a Saturday, to a Friday to the form the first part of the newly created Champions Weekend.
The new conception, which will see Champions Day take place at Ascot 24 hours after action on the Rowley Mile, will take place across October 17 and 18 and feature six Group One races across both days.
“This is the right package for racing as it will produce the perfect climax to the Flat season. I am proud that Newmarket is going to be part of it,” said Miss Starkey.
“It is going to be a challenge for us on the Friday but it is one I feel comfortable with and one that we can capitalise on.
“When I came into the job increasing the attendance figures was the biggest challenge and it still remains the biggest challenge.”
This year’s Dubai Future Champions Day at the track on Saturday saw attendance figures up by three per cent on those from 2012, with a total of 9,065 passing through the gates, a figure which although Miss Starkey is pleased with acknowledges could be better.
“I would have like to have had a five figure attendance but this is a step in the right direction,“ said Miss Starkey.
“But we have made good progress in 2013 as the July Festival showed good growth while the Cambridgeshire meeting was up over the three days.”
While action on the track focused on the stars of tomorrow away from it numerous activities took place.
A question and answer session with Newmarket trainers Ed Walker and Amy Weaver took place, while there was a chance to learn about the anatomy.
The afternoon also saw the second Racing For Jobs fair, aimed at helping students breaking into the industry, an event Miss Starkey hopes can continue to move forward in the future.
“When it comes down to it I would not be doing this job if it had not been for a BHA graduate project,” said Miss Starkey.
“It is really important that we provide young people and students with everything that gives them an insight into careers associated with racing as with things like the job fair they may not get such opportunities.”
For a full report on the afternoon’s racing from the Rowley Mile turn to page 78.