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York start search for new clerk.

Byline: Howard Wright

YORK will shortly start the search for a successor to John Smith, clerk of the course, manager and secretary at Yorkshire's premier racecourse since 1987, writes Howard Wright.

Smith is due to retire officially on his 65th birthday-on November 4, 2002-and the York Race Committee is planning to have the appointee in place by the spring of next year.

The committee has discussed splitting the job along the lines adopted in recent years by several major courses, which have taken on a commercial director, as distinct from a clerk in charge of the track.

However, Smith, who was recruited from industry, stressed yesterday that the decision would depend on the calibre of applicants.

He said: "We would be looking to get someone who's interested in racing but not necessarily experienced in the industry."

Smith said that with only 15 days racing a year, York would not go down the same route as Ascot by recruiting separate personnel to supervise the on- and off-track activities, but non-racing business is set to take a higher profile.

He said: "We are about to build a new pounds 20 million grandstand, and this will put emphasis on the commercial side."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2001
Words:199
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