AS FAR as racing years go, 2012 has been a fantastic one at Doncaster Racecourse.
Though I didn’t join the team until September, my role at Southwell Racecourse –only 40 miles from Town Moor – means that I have always been pretty close to the action there.
I had covered for the former clerk of the course Jon Pullin during his holidays so was already familiar with the course, before taking up a supporting role to get the course ready for four days of magnificent action at the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival.
Officially becoming clerk of the course at the close of the meeting really was exciting for me, and it will be great to get the first full year under my belt as we look ahead to 2013.
Next year has a lot to live up to if it is to match the standard set here in 2012. We got off to a great start with six wonderful National Hunt meetings between January and March, closing the season with our popular Grimthorpe Chase, always a big hit with punters.
Opening the summer season was the coveted William Hill Lincoln. Always well attended, we saw huge crowds come along to watch the first flat action of the season, with a really high standard of runners and riders. The big winner on the second day of flat racing action was Penitent, who eased to victory in the legendary Doncaster Mile Stakes. The-six-year old has had a mixed year, with a winning performance in its subsequent race at Sandown, before three successive defeats. The horse saw a return to form though, with a win at Newmarket in September, and a second place finish at Longchamp in October.
One of the highlights of 2012 was the Construction Index Live Madness raceday on June 30 which drew more than 30,000 people to the races before being treated to a performance by the cockney ska favourites.
The most prestigious of the fixtures was our Ladbrokes St Leger. The sense of occasion and excitement created by Camelot’s attendance created a huge buzz.
To finish off the year’ at Doncaster we have a fantastic New Year meeting tomorrow, is set to be the perfect end to an exhilarating year.
And as the busiest single course turf track in the country next year, we’re sure it will be another great one at Town Moor.
www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk or call 01302 511 918.