HORSE racing is working hard to attract a new audience with many weekend and evening meetings now themed with additional attractions to maximise the appeal of the day.

At Chepstow we have booked a variety of music acts this year including From The Jam in April, James Arthur in June and The Dualers on Caribbean Night in July. We have another range of artists lined-up for Ladies Evening in July which will be announced in the next week or so.

These bookings are typical of the attempts to bring new people into horse racing, which remains Britain’s second biggest spectator sport behind football, but there are millions of people who have yet to set foot inside a racecourse.

And it’s not only music acts which are designed to pull in the crowds. On Family Race Days – Chepstow has Easter Monday 13th April and August Bank Holiday Monday 31st August – thousands of pounds are spent on entertainment such as fun fair rides, circus acts and tribute artists.

One of the myths surrounding the sport is the price of admission.

It’s not as expensive as many people think with tickets to many race days at Chepstow starting from £12 to £17 in advance. It’s also not widely known that children aged 17 and under go free of charge at virtually all race meetings and there are concessions for seniors. Parking is also free of charge.

Chepstow also has an excellent restaurant called The View which, as it says on the tin, overlooks the course. For many race meetings, we offer a two-course lunch package including admission for £45 including VAT and you have the table for day.

There are 30 race meetings at Chepstow this year so plenty of opportunities to make your horse racing debut. And we have another 21 fixtures at our sister course, Ffos Las, near Llanelli.

If you need any advice on what to expect, please give us a call on 01291 622260.

One race meeting coming up that may appeal to any ‘first time’ racegoers is Saturday, 22nd February when we host ‘Six Nations Race Day’. There are seven races and the Wales v France game on all the screens, including a big screen in our Bonanza Boy marquee. And the best news of all is that tickets are just £10 in advance. Racing starts at 1.55pm.

We are always working on new initiatives to encourage a new audience and for this Six Nations race day we have partnered with four universities in the region and expect more than 2,000 students to come along and enjoy the day.

Our next meeting is this Friday, 17th January with six races starting from 1.10pm. Tickets are £12 if booked in advance.