10 Jul Racing Staff Sports Day
Sunday 9th July was Racing Sports Day. The event hosted by The Racing Centre and run in association with the National Association of Stable Staff was held over at the Newmarket Academy Playing fields. The day finished with an Awards evening and free barbecue sponsored by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association back at The Racing Centre in the evening. There were twelve individual races to compete for, a long jump competition, a team relay race and not to forget the trademark annual Tug of War competition.
Charlie Appleby’s Moulton Paddocks team ran out convincing winners of the overall yard competition despite a valiant effort from Roger Varian’s team. Good weather meant a very decent turn out of spectators as events kicked off with sprint heats at 11am.
Once the finals got underway it was Varian’s team who came out of the gates quickest, winning both 3000m events as well as the Tug of War. The Tug of War must have been a sweet victory for the team who had come so close, only to lose out in the final, the two previous years. Varian, a St.Leger winning trainer, obviously has a knack of training stayers as Oz Wedmore and Ozge Arsanoglu took out the men’s and women’s 3000m events respectively.
After that Appleby’s staff raised their game and won event after event, with Wayne Hogg (200m & 400m), Hannah Pollard (400m & 800m) and Leah Mapston (200m & long jump) leading the way with two wins a piece. They weren’t alone as Godolphin winners though, as Derek McGaffin took the 1500m crown to go with his 3000m silver.
James Beasley of James Tate’s won the men’s 100m in decisive fashion, even having time to celebrate as he crossed the line, while a two runner women’s 100m race was won by Emma Carey of Ed Dunlop’s. Other winners on the day were Pavla Sedlakova from Simon Crisford’s (1500m), Bruno Sampayo from Sir Mark Prescott’s (long jump) and Adam Elias from Sir Micheal Stoute’s (800m).
An eventful 4x100m relay race saw Team Appleby seemingly wrap up the day’s events until a controversial disqualification for a second false start handed the final victory of the day to John Gosden’s team (pictured above). But, the disqualification wasn’t enough to prevent Charlie Appleby’s staff (pictured below) rounding out the day as overall winners after some impressive individual performances.
Commenting on the day Sean O’Connor, CEO of The Racing Centre said: “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and partners who worked so hard make the day the success it was. The races were run in competitive spirit and there was great camaraderie amongst everyone. Today was a very fitting way to conclude Racing Stable Staff week and recognise the incredible contribution of hardworking staff who make up our great industry. Everyone is a winner!”
George McGrath, Chief Executive of the National Association of Stable Staff congratulated the winners and people behind the scenes who worked so hard to deliver the day. He said: it’s a really great occasion to bring together racing staff and their families for a relaxed day out. We hope to build on this occasion and do more days like this in the future. Days like today demonstrate it’s not all about hard work and early mornings. It’s about a sense of team camaraderie and having fun.