The arrival of Peterborough trainer Hazel Kemp and racing manager Martin Race are the final loose ends as Henlow prepare to race seven meetings per week.
The arrival of Hazel Kemp, currently serving a month’s notice, will push the Henlow kennel strength towards the 700 mark. Race will join former colleague James Chalkley and Paul Mellor in the racing office.
It seems a far cry from the days when the track’s ‘third meeting’, when a restaurant full of Saturday night Christmas partygoers were treated to nine-race cards littered by three and four runner cards.
However, the decision to introduce the 8-12am-10.41am Tuesday and Friday meetings, as SIS source the Eastern European market, was down to the trainers themselves.
Promoter Kevin Boothby said: “I sounded out the trainers before we made the decision. We have enough staff for the extra meetings it was down to whether trainers fancied the early start. The response was overwhelmingly positive.”
The graded fare will be supported by the regular Sunday opens including two ‘Cat One’ finals before the end of the year.
First up is the Westmead Hawk Henlow Derby (£10K to winner), followed by the GAIN Puppy Derby, concluding on December 16 with the Mark Lowther sponsored Bedfordshire Oaks (£4,000 to winner) squeezed in between.
Boothby said: “We will always try to provide top class racing and I am thrilled that we have three great friends of Henlow as competition sponsors.
“I realise December isn’t ideal for the puppy race, but hopefully we can bring that further forward in the calendar next year.”