HORSE RACING: Ackerman is back in the saddle at Towcester

Kevin Ackerman
Kevin Ackerman

Chief executive Kevin Ackerman remains steadfast in his desire to drive Towcester Racecourse ahead and is eagerly awaiting the return of National Hunt racing to the course next month.

Ackerman’s hand has been back on the tiller since mid-June after a six month spell when he was banned from involvement in the sport by the British Horseracing Authority.

Ackerman, whose appeal was quashed but who had a £5,000 fine rescinded by the BHA, has the full backing of racecourse owner Lord Hesketh as the pair pursue a lucrative media rights deal to further promote the greyhound track at Towcester.

To say it has been a tricky 12 months for Ackerman is an under-statement but he firmly adheres to the adage whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

He remarked: “I can’t influence people’s perspective of me and there must be those out there who think I am a really bad guy with the reduction of horse racing fixtures at Towcester along with the BHA case.

“But I still have to live with myself and sleep every night and know I am a decent human being.”

He added: “The reality is that Towcester is not able to stage horse racing in the summer but horse racing still has an important part to play in the course’s future. You can’t put on extra horse racing fixtures just like that, and that inhibits you to some respect.

“Lord Hesketh has made a huge investment in the racecourse and we believe we are now close to a media rights deal which would initially mean sending greyhound pictures out to Australia with then the opportunity to go into Asia.

“It has been harder than I at first envisaged, but I believe we are now getting there.”

Towcester’s first National Hunt card after the summer break is on Wednesday, October 5.