New Albany Racing Club general manager Mark Bayliss turns new leaf
Mark Bayliss believes there is enormous growth in the Albany Racing Club going forward and has expressed his desire to be a long-term general manager after beginning his new full-time role this month.
Bayliss was the interim general manager for several months after stepping in midway through 2019-20 and is now a full-time employee of the ARC.
With a strong racing background, and as the outgoing chairman of the Bunbury Turf Club, Bayliss said his love of the sport was the reason he wanted to commit long-term.
“This is an opportunity to grow the club,” Bayliss said.
“I have a big passion for racing and was keen to step into the full-time role.
“It’s actually a really good club, it might have lost its way over certain periods in small areas but I just see an opportunity that we can grow and I want to be a part of that.
“I don’t believe in going over deadwood, what’s happened in this club has happened for a reason, leave it behind you and move forward.
“Everyone gets a fresh start with me and I give everyone a fair go from day one.”
The new general manager came in amid challenging times which included racing the latter part of this season under significant coronavirus restrictions.
“I wouldn’t say pressure it was more of an inconvenience and more for a fact for supporters of racing, the people who want to come watch racing,” he said.
“From a club point of view it was an opportunity for us to have a look at our structure and what we have in place here as a club.
“Where I felt that we did well, was minimising our costs and I think every club now has to do that now.”
Bayliss believes the Albany Cup will be best run at its traditional Easter Sunday timeslot after the club experimented running the $100,000 feature race in February this year.
“I want to build Albany Cup day, when you have a $100,000 race and those premier days, you have to make them into big days,” he said.
“Being chairman of Bunbury we have really built Bunbury Cup into a really sound structure and I want to build that here.
“That’s my aim here is to get 2000-3000 people.”
Bayliss is going to see out the current season as chairman of BTC and has big plans for two of Albany’s marquee events, the Albany Cup and their biggest social fixture Boxing Day.
He wants to introduce a beach theme to the highly-popular Boxing Day meeting.
“That day is obviously a day for young people, so let’s make it a young people day if that’s what it is,” he said.
“Albany Cup day is more for the real race goers, let’s build cup day as a traditional day and let’s bring some old things back to the club.”
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