Hamilton Racecourse kicks off its “Super Six” series of evening meetings tonight with the William Hill Braveheart Night. Between them, the six evenings feature Hamilton’s six most valuable races of the season.
I’ll be particularly interested to see whether Hamilton chief executive Vivien Kyles chooses an outfit to fit in with the theme. Kyles, who was recently appointed as vice chairman of Racecourse Association, came to Hamilton in a change of sport in 2008 after spending four years running Livingston Football Club.
She has done much to reinvigorate the course. Kyles unveiled her latest initiative by donning an Alice In Wonderland outfit to launch a new partnership with local business McGhee’s Bakery. Before the opening fixture of the season on 6 May she dressed up with McGhee’s Bakery sales manager Ross Hamilton in Mad Hatter outfit to promote the new offering.
I have to say, I had to plough through a lot of pages on the Hamilton Park website to find out what you have to shell out for this deal, so there’s room for improvement there. However, if you’re tempted to the special “afternoon tea” ticket, it will set you back £30, and include admission, racecard, sandwiches, cakes and pies. Oh, and as much tea or coffee as you can manage.
Kyles said, “We’re thrilled to have come together with McGhee’s to provide this unique package to racegoers attending any of our 18 fixtures this season. It represents terrific value for money and we believe we now have package tickets which appeal to every type of racegoer, including our McGhee’s Teaz offering which I’m sure will go down as well as the bakery’s tasty snacks.”
Now, I don’t want to launch into one of my soap box tirades about the rip off cost of eating at race meetings, but I’m aghast that anyone can think that doubling the on the day admission price to the grandstand and throwing in a race card and a plate of sandwiches represents value for money. Just apply the same test of value we use for betting – just in reverse. Ask yourself the question – is the price higher than it should be? If the answer is “yes”, as I think it is here, then the answer is “no”, this is not value.