REGISTERED stable staff have been handed a racing day off after Newbury Racecourse agreed to open its gates to them on the record-breaking Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes Day on Saturday, May 16.
All registered stable staff who currently hold a Stable Pass will be able to gain free entry to the Grandstand enclosure on the day, when the highlight of the seven-race card is the £350,000 Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.
Stable staff will be granted free entry by showing their Stable Pass at the Grandstand entrance on the day. Stable Passes are normally only allowed to be released to staff by trainers when they are looking after a horse that is running on that day, but the British Horseracing Authority has supported Newbury's gesture by sanctioning this one-off initiative.
Julian Thick, CEO of Newbury Racecourse, said: "Al Shaqab Lockinge Day is a major highlight of our Flat racing season, and has been boosted by a major five-year sponsorship deal with Al Shaqab Racing.
"We wanted to thank stable staff for all they do to support the industry by allowing them to come and watch some of the best horses in Europe free of charge and I'm grateful to the BHA for their flexibility in helping us to make this offer."
George McGrath, chief executive of the National Association of Stable Staff, added: "This is a really nice gesture by Newbury Racecourse and it is good to see recognition for the vital role that stable staff play in racing. I hope that many of them are able to take advantage of this offer."