SINCE Hereford Racecourse’s reopening back in October 2016, I have been keen to build strong links with local business.

Working within the Herefordshire business community is something that the team and myself are passionate about, and where possible we place our own accounts locally including printing, cleaning and waste management services.

Ladies Day is our next fixture on Saturday, March 10 and I was delighted to meet recently with both Holmer Park Spa and The Old Market, who have both shown a real appetite and enthusiasm for working together to build the event.

The more people that come racing, the more the city and local businesses will benefit, from pubs and restaurants to shops and spas.

We have some exciting news being announced soon relating to the prizes for best dressed lady and best dressed couple competitions on the raceday, thanks to their support.

Our two Saturday fixtures each year give us a real opportunity to showcase Hereford Racecourse and the exciting sport of jump racing to a wider audience, to people that might not take a day off work to come midweek but will enjoy a day at the weekend.

We undertook market research at the Christmas Jumper Raceday and will be planning our marketing activity around this.

The great news is that we have a very strong and core audience from Hereford which we are immensely proud of.

Whilst we want to, and need to, attract racegoers from further afield, the population of Herefordshire is circa 190,000 so there is plenty we can be doing to put ourselves on the map with our own residents first.

This year, Ladies Day falls on the same weekend as Mothering Sunday, so why not treat your mum to an early present and a wonderful lunch in the popular Rusty Bridge restaurant.

Since award winning executive chef Matt Pollard joined us in October, he really has taken the on-course dining experience to a new level, sourcing local produce where he can and serving mouth watering menus and cuisines.

There is limited availability left for Saturday, March 10 so do book soon if you want to treat mum to an extra special day out.

There is plenty else on offer on the day and we will be showing the England v France Six Nations game on a big screen in the Kidwells Grandstand after racing so there is no need to dash away after the last race.