Statues of famous steeplechasers Arkle, Best Mate, Dawn Run and Golden Miller have been moved from their homes at Cheltenham Racecourse during building works.
Construction company Kier started work on the new grandstand development at Cheltenham last week. Work is expected to be completed in time for the 2016 Festival.
The statues were removed to ensure their safety. The four are a reminder of the equine heroes to have graced the racecourse; Golden Miller having won five consecutive Gold Cups between 1932 and 1936, Arkle and Best Mate both triple Gold Cup winners and Dawn Run, the only horse to have completed the Champion Hurdle / Gold Cup double. They will all return to the racecourse to form a part of the new development.
The new development at Cheltenham Racecourse, which is part of The Jockey Club, will include a new five-floor grandstand adjacent to the existing main grandstand and elevated walkways to the rear of the grandstand, offering improved mobility and enhanced viewing of the parade ring.
The £45 million project is The Jockey Club’s largest-ever single capital investment project. The funding package includes nearly £25m successfully raised through The Jockey Club Racecourse Bond – the first retail bond in British sport. The remaining £20m has been secured through a combination of bank financing via The Jockey Club’s syndicate banks – HSBC, AIB and RBS, a Levy Board capital fund loan, commercial deals and the Group’s available cashflow from trading.
The development works over the coming month will be strictly confined to specific areas, minimising any disruption for Racegoers at the April meetings.
Nicholas Wrigley, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said the development would add to the customer experience at the course.
“In the last 30 years, more than £80 million has been spent on Cheltenham’s facilities. It is fitting our Group’s largest ever single investment coincides with the 50th anniversary of Racecourse Holdings Trust, which was formed in 1964 to acquire and protect Cheltenham Racecourse, then later became Jockey Club Racecourses.”
Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham.