Jockey Club plans give opportunity to reinvest wisely says Hemmings
Trevor Hemmings yesterday threw his support behind the Jockey Club's ambition to redevelop Kempton while at the same criticising the body for moving the Grand National weights unveiling to the evening.
The three-time Grand National winning owner is an honorary member of the Jockey Club which last month unveiled controversial plans to close the home of the King George VI Chase to make way for 3,000 homes as part of a proposal which would yield a £500 million investment in the sport.
Hemmings said: "I think it should be developed. It's an opportunity to recoup cash and reinvest it wisely, and there is a need for housing in the area. As disappointed as I would be I think life moves on and we have to move with it."
The leading jumps owner has been a guest at recent Grand National weights ceremonies in London but he will not attend this year following the death of 2015 race winner Many Clouds.
Traditionally a lunchtime event, this year's ceremony for the Randox Health-sponsored race will be held between 7pm and 10.30pm at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Hemmings is unlikely to have an entry in the race this year, but said the timing of the weights event did not suit trainers in the north who will find it difficult to attend without an overnight stay.
"It's a shame they are not having it in the afternoon," he said. "As far as I'm concerned moving the afternoon to the evening doesn't interest people in the north at all. It doesn't help anybody."