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I will guide you through the simple process of planning and organising a profitable night at the races

Andy Smith Presents has now professionally presented horse racing nights for over 30 years to a diverse range of clubs and organisations including local sporting clubs, schools and many charitable organisations to raise much needed funds and bringing the thrills and spills of a traditional English race meeting to your chosen venue.

We cover Shropshire and the West Midlands only

On the night of the race evening we will bring along all of the audio and visual equipment to present the race night and the most up to date races available on the market, all run on English racecourses over both flat and jumps. All of the tote tickets will be provided and upon booking a link will be sent to access templates to add the sponsors, horse names and their owners to design your own race programme and print to bring along on the night.


How it works

How it works

Step 1. Planning

Plan a date for your race night at least 4 weeks in advance allowing you time to promote the race night to as many members of your organisation as possible. Please note race nights are a seasonal activity and you should avoid a number of months in the calendar year. The ideal time to hold a night at the races is February to the end of May (avoid Easter and the May Bank Holidays) and September towards the end of November. It is difficult to bring together all of your intended guests in the Summer months due to holidays and I have found Christmas and January have always been difficult to attract members and guests due to Christmas parties and the expense of the festive season. Bank holiday weekends should be avoided too.

We have much further availability on Friday evenings as our Peaky Blinders race and fun casino evenings are in high demand, especially on Saturday nights.

Step 2. Ticket sales

Consider if you are going to sell tickets to the race night and if the price of the entrance ticket will include providing your guests with a meal and consider the costs of the meal you will be providing. You may also approach a main sponsor to sponsor the event and contribute to my fee to present the night for you. I have seen many options to provide your guests with a meal over the years including catering a hot or cold buffet at your venue yourselves. Collecting a fish and chip supper from a local chip shop or pizza caterer.

I am unable to advise on the ticket price but consider your set up costs carefully including hire of the venue, cost of food and the race night presenter’s fee. £5 - £12 tends to be a sensible fee to charge for an entry ticket to cover set up costs and hopefully be in profit before the stalls open for the 1st time.

As with many organisations the planning and organisation is left to a selective number of active members of a club or committee. Please consider sharing the work out with as many members as possible.

The key to a very successful race night is to be in a profit situation before the 1st race begins.

Step 3. Race sponsorship

There will be 8 races on the night. Gain sponsors for each of the 8 races, approach local companies who support your club, members of your club may wish to sponsor a race, some members of your organisation may own their own businesses, approach your boss at work, write to local companies in your town or village and suppliers to your school.

Again, from my experience aim to get each race sponsored at £25.00 or £50.00. You may be very successful and secure 2 sponsors for each of the 8 races, I have even seen in the past some organisations have 3 sponsors for each race.

Your sponsors name and business details will be proudly displayed in the race programme and as I am compering the race night I will be thanking them for their kind support, ask them for advertising literature.

Remember share the responsibility of gaining sponsorship with as many members of your organisation as possible. 8 races sponsored at £25.00=£200.00. If we can gain 16 sponsors £400.00.

Step 4. Sale of the horses, jockey’s and trainers

In each of the 8 races there are 8 horses, prior to the night of the race night sell each of the 8 horses to club members, parents etc at a price of either £5 or £10. There are 64 horses in total. 64 horses sold at £5 = £320.00. Sold at £10 = £640.00. 

After each race is run the owner of the winning horse wins a prize, my advice here is try and avoid giving away cash maybe local pubs and restaurants will donate a meal for 2 not including beverages so the winning owners will bring in some income to the pub or restaurant who has provided the prize. Many organisations award a bottle of spirits or wine that you can purchase at a reasonable price to the winning owners. Again you may be able to sell the horses twice so each horse has a joint ownership and further increasing the potential income from the sale of the horses.

Upon booking i will send to you a link to design and create your own race programme for the evening, simply print when you have included all of the sponsors, horse names and their owners and bring along on the night.

Horse Racing Nights

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How it works

How it works

Step 5. The tote. £1 or £2 per bet!!!

IMPORTANT. Please contact all of your guests in advance of the night to bring along plenty of change. A facility to accept card payments would be wise!

In each of the 8 races members and guests place bets on each of the 8 horses, they take a look at the personalised race programme and choose a horse 1-8 who they think might win the race. The tote then opens and guests place their bets, the minimum bet is usually £1 although many clubs and organisations are now increasing the minimum bet on each race to £2 per bet and will therefore double the funds they raise on the tote which will significantly increase the total amount of money raised.

Guests can buy as many tickets as they wish on any particular horse to increase the amount they might win. They may also place bets on as many horses as they choose for e.g. £1 on horse number 1 £3 on horse number 4 and so on.

The tote is then closed when all guests have placed their bets and a member of the audience is chosen at random to choose the race to be shown. I will provide a calculation sheet to record the number of tickets sold on each horse and the total number of bets taken on each race. I will explain how we calculate how much we pay out at the tote as simply as possible.

Let’s say there are 100 guests at your event and each guest places a single £1 bet, the total number of bets taken on the race will be 100 and we will have £100 in cash in the tote. We then decide how much of the tote we are going to pay out either 50% or 75% depending on how successful we have been in gaining sponsorship and sale of horses prior to the night. I can advise you of the best options to take on the night.

If we are paying out 50% £50 we keep £50 for the club funds and divide the number of winning tickets with the £50.00 we are paying out. If horse number 1 wins and 10 tickets have been sold on horse number 1 we divide £50.00 between the 10 winning tickets and we pay out £5.00 per ticket. I will help you with the calculations and advise on the amount to pay out. Once we have paid out all of the winning tickets the tote re-opens for the next race.

Step 6. Duel Forecasts and Tri casts

In addition to the tote further opportunities are available to make further funds by selling dual forecasts and tri casts. Dual forecasts reversed can be run on each of the 8 races or as some organisations choose, run dual forecasts on races 2, 4 and 6.
How does a dual forecast work?

In an 8 horse race there are 56 possibilities horses can come 1st and 2nd past the post for e.g. horse number 7 wins followed by horse number 4. We sell each of the 56 options for a £1.00 and we decide how much we are going to pay out to the guests who choose correctly. I would suggest we pay out £30.00 and retain £26.00 for the fund. A tri-cast can be run on the 8th race of the night.

The pre printed each way selection sheet will be attached to your confirmation of booking to print and get selling.

How does a tri cast work?

Many organisations manage to complete the tri cast but it is a wonderful way to raise a vast amount of money. In an 8 horse race there are 336 possibilities horses can come 1st 2nd and 3rd past the post for e.g. horse number 6 wins followed by horse number 2 and horse 8 comes in 3rd place. If we sell all 336 options for a £1.00 we decide how much of the £336.00 we are going to pay out and I would suggest £50.00-£100.00 is paid to the lucky winner and the club will raise huge funds.The tri cast has always proved difficult to sell on the night. The best way of selling the tri cast is cutting up the tri cast sheet into sections and members of the club or organisations sell to friends, family and work colleagues prior to the night and bring the sales together to a master sheet for the night.

The tri cast will be attached to your confirmation of booking when you move forward.

Step 7. The auction race

The final race of the evening is the auction race and I as the compere will sell each of the 8 horses in the final race to the highest bidders. If each horse sells for £50.00 the total amount raised from the sale of the 8 horses will be £400.00. We run the final race and 50% is given to the owner of the winning horse and 50% is retained for the club funds.

In Addition to all of the above fundraising opportunities clubs and organisations have made further income from raffles, auction of promises, silent auctions, and Dutch auctions.

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