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Fixture co-ordination key to new Gretton role

02 September 2011

CENTRALISED fixture planning among the 30 Racing UK courses is being given greater emphasis following the appointment of Chester and Bangor clerk of the course Ed Gretton to the new post of director of racing at the broadcaster's umbrella organisation Racecourse Media Group.

A statement from RMG said that Gretton, who will begin work in London at the end of October, as reported by the Racing Post this week, would be responsible "for formulating and leading RMG's strategy on a range of collective racing issues, including fixture planning."

On Tuesday the significance of his role was clarified by Simon Bazalgette, chief executive of the Jockey Club, which owns 14 of RMG's courses and has its own group racing director in Richard Norris.

Bazalgette said: "RMG as a whole has got better at co-ordinating fixture policies and as it expands through commercial decisions with the horsemen, sponsors and other racecourses, we felt it was important to have someone with a core racing background to bring all these things together.

"Ed won't be duplicating what we do, but he will work closely with Richard Norris and other racecourse executives toadd better co-ordination for RMG."

Bazalgette said that one of Gretton's responsibilities would be to pursue a better balance of fixtures for RUK and RMG's joint-venture betting-shop service TurfTV, which, he added, "now provides a bigger proportion of commercial revenue".

Gretton, a graduate of the BHB training programme, worked at Market Rasen and Nottingham before becoming clerk at Chester and Bangor in 2004. He holds an MBA from the University ofChester.

RMG chief executive Richard FitzGerald said: "Securing Ed is a strong endorsement of how seriously we take the role and it shows how important significant issues, such as fixture planning, are for our future commercial success."

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