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Newmarket Clerk of the Course, Michael Prosser, reaches the finishing line after 23 years

The final race meeting of the season at Newmarket last Saturday marked the end of an era as long-serving clerk of the course Michael Prosser retired after 23 seasons at the helm.

Mr Prosser and his skilled team of staff ensured that the Rowley Mile and July Course were produced at their immaculate best on every raceday and presented a surface to match the quality of racing that took place at both tracks.

After a stint working for top National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, Mr Prosser began his clerking career at Wolverhampton and Southwell before taking up the post at Newmarket in February 2001.

Michael Prosser retires as Clerk of the Course at Newmarket
Michael Prosser retires as Clerk of the Course at Newmarket

The role came with its challenges, not least the foot and mouth outbreak just weeks into his new job, but, said Mr Prosser, his journey with The Jockey Club was one he had enjoyed immensely.

“I had never been racing here before I took up the role so I wasn’t familiar with the courses or with the gallops and the enormity of the place.

“I knew I had a huge amount to learn in a short period of time and I was aware of the prestige and importance of the role,” said Mr Prosser.

“Through the flat season this is a seven day a week job and there is not a day when you are not doing something so there have been sacrifices along the way but what I would say is that working at Newmarket has been an immense amount of fun.

“The Jockey Club has been fantastic in its vision since I’ve been here to improve the equine areas at both tracks and I will leave this role extremely fond of both racecoourses and the town itself.”

Mr Prosser, 57, has enjoyed plenty of racing highlights over the years.

“Frankel’s 2000 Guineas win was a spectacular performance while Oasis Dream beating Choisir in the 2003 July Cup was another great race.

“My favourite 1000 Guineas was Russian Rhythm in 2003 with an amazing ride by Kieren Fallon when he held his nerve nd waited for the gap.

”The finest performance I’ve seen here was probably New Approach winning the Champion Stakes when it was still run here in 2008.”

Father of three Mr Prosser who lives at Horringer, will take up a new position as head of racing services at Cambridge-based racing technology company TurfTrax and is also looking forward to going back to his roots to take in some jump racing meetings

He said: “Although I’m ready to hand over the reins to new clerk Andrew Morris, I will miss it as I have made a lot of friends.”