Warwick racecourse provided the setting for the first Inspire Racing Club’s Annual Dinner on Saturday in which 150 members and guests celebrated the club’s success and were dined and entertained for the evening.
On arrival attendees were offered a choice of non alcoholic drinks and a very welcome warmed ‘winter’ Pimms drinks which seemed to go down a treat.
Several Pimms later and there was a sumptuous 4 course meal including cream of tomato soup, tender pork loin with cabbage, creamed mash, pureed prune and a jus. This was followed by a chocolate mousse type dessert topped with delicious cherries alongside cream with a coffee or tea to end.
After the culinary delights several members bopped at tables and many got up on the dance floor to dance the night away to live music from The Real Breeze and the DJ who followed.
The evening began with a speech by club founder and manager Leigh Mackey who thanked everyone for attending and opined, “In the last 12 months we have set up the best racing club in the UK.”
He went on to explain that the club now has over 300 members, with over 700 badges being given out to members who have so far enjoyed events including two racedays where they have been able to hand out prizes such as best turned out awards.
The club’s horses have taken part in 70 races across 29 different racecourses and the horses’have entered the winner’s enclosure 20 times.
Leigh thanked all the trainers and staff for their continued support and promotion of the club, with special thanks going out to his partner Becky and their friend Anthony for all their hard work and efforts in the running of the club.
He also thanked all the members for their support and said, “We (Inspire) are here for the future and we are investing in that.”
A special award was given to member Paul McGann, no not Dr Who although given the mileshe is rattling up one could be forgiven for mistaking him as the famous time lord and find the T.A.R.D.I.S situated in the car park.
His medal given by Becky was for the furthest travelled, most attended, best dressed and most flirtatious member.
A gracious Paul said later, “I’m very happy with it. I have travelled over 6,000 miles and gone to 25 races where it has given me the opportunity to meet people and go racing.”
During the evening jumps jockey David entertained the crowd with his jokes and amusing quips in between interviewing the various trainers, jockeys and stable staff who attended.
First up was trainer Brian Barr who had very kindly provided the wine and table drinks for the evening.
Haats Off was reported to be going well and hoping to take up her engagement at Bath this forthcoming Wednesday while Toolatetodelegate is due to run at Kempton on Monday evening.
Call Sign Charlie described as a head case by Brian is in good order and work rider and groom Jess Wareham who rides her claims the mare tries to squash her in the morning!
Robin de Broome who ran in a hurdle last time following an unseat on his chasing debut is entered for a two-and-a-half mile novice chase at Wincanton where Gavin Sheehan is due to take the ride.
His trainer has always thought of him as a proper chasing type so is looking forward to seeing him trying his hand at fences again.
Jess also had news of the two yearling fillies which have been recent additions to the Inspire team and she has broken both of them in saying, “Nora is a well behaved filly with a cheeky personality. She will get you in the stable but once you are on her back she is great.” In fact the youngster was so well behaved that the first time Jess sat on her although she had a saddle she was bridle-less and good as gold!
Meanwhile the other and rather aptly named hot headed ‘Ginger’ is described as being feisty who bronced (bucked) when broken in to ride.
Brian’s partner Daisy is to train the club’s first point to point horse and Clondaw Whisper who is a lovely looking individual is described as ‘being ready to go now’ with Daisy claiming he will be the fittest horse of the lot for the start of the pointing season as he makes his debut for the club at Buckfastleigh, Devon on Sunday 18th November.
Trainer Henry Oliver who trains ex ptp Hard to Forget is to make his rules and club debut at Uttoxeter on Thursday 18th October in an EBF hurdle said, “He is in good order and we just want him to go and have a race to see how he shapes with a view to progressing as the season goes on.”
Adrian Wintle, who sponsored the live band didn’t attend as he had horses running atChelmsford that evening so instead sent a video message and gave an update on club horse Rocket Ronnie who was second last time at Ludlow and was said to have come out of his race well but there are no entries at present for him.
Trainer Ian Williams who has recently taken charge of Machiato following a move from Brian Barr’s hotfooted it to the event from Newmarket in which he saddled 3 horses in the day’s big race the Cesarewitch. Despite finishing out of the frame with his runners he had some upbeat news of another stayer Magic Circle (sadly not an Inspire horse) who goes for the Melbourne Cup on November 6th. Stating that the horse had landed safely in Australia and despite the 30 hour trip and losing 10kg he was doing ok.
Of Machiato who has yet to make his debut for the club Ian praised Brian by saying the horse arrived in great nick at his yard. “He’s in steady work at the minute and we will be stepping him up into full work later this month with a view to getting him on the racetrack before the end of the year.”
Overall members were delighted with the evening and had a fantastic night here is a selection of their responses.
Ginny Guy from Hereford said, “It was nice to meet other members at tables in one place where you can intermingle because on the racecourse people often go off and do their own thing.” Ginny had also been especially pleased to be able to talk to trainer Ian Williams as she is travelling over to Melbourne to visit friends and to watch the big race next month.
Susanna Petts also from Hereford enjoyed herself saying, “It’s fantastic to meet people in the sport that you admire and get the chance to speak face to face which you don’t often get in other sports.”
Gail and Peter Attenborrow from Solihull who joined the club in May thoroughly enjoyed the evening saying, “It was nice meeting other members. The entertainment was excellent and the food was lovely.”
Finally the night provided a welcome to recent Facebook competition winners Andy and Ann Jones from Warwick who won an entry to the Windsor raceday event but were unable to attend that day so were invited to the dinner instead. They had originally booked for an Indian meal but cancelled their engagement to attend and were glad that they did.
Andy who has had shares in horses on and off since 2008 was looking to dip his toes into ownership again and wanted to see what Inspire was all about.
“It has been a great evening. The club looks very good and with 5 different trainers and runners across the country it gives a lot of opportunities. I need to have a sit down and think and weigh up my options.”
I’m sure the success of the club, its broad coverage across the UK and different codes, multiple horses and trainers, friendly staff and members, days out and a fantastic annual dinner would whet anyone’s appetite to join this adventure that is Inspire Racing!
Here’s to further success and next year’s dinner!