Sulekha Varma is “honoured” to be appointed as Aintree’s new clerk of the course.
Andrew Tulloch announced in October he would be stepping down from the role – and Varma, who has has been racing manager and clerk at Hamilton since 2016, has been chosen as his successor.
She will therefore become the first woman to hold the role at Aintree – home to the world’s most famous steeplechase, the Grand National.
Varma started as a trainee with Jockey Club Racecourses at Haydock Park in 2009 and has been clerk at four other JCR tracks – Nottingham, Market Rasen, Warwick and Huntingdon – between 2010 and 2016.
She also has a longstanding relationship with Aintree, having worked as part of the team delivering the Grand National Festival for the past 10 years – assisting Tulloch, who will still have an advisory role.
Varma will be responsible for all aspects of racing at Aintree, as well as overseeing the successful operation of the Aintree International Equestrian Centre and acting as joint clerk at sister course, Carlisle.
“I am honoured to be taking on the role of clerk of the course at Aintree Racecourse and North West Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses,” she said.
“I will be sad to leave the fantastic team at Hamilton Park, but it is a hugely exciting opportunity to join the team who stage the UK’s most famous horse race – and I am very much looking forward to getting started.
“While British racing has faced and will face challenges, I hope that Aintree Racecourse will continue to be at the forefront of addressing many of those and showcasing our wonderful sport to an ever-wider audience.”
Dickon White, JCR’s North West Regional Director, added: “We are delighted to welcome Sulekha to the team as clerk of the course at Aintree Racecourse and North West Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses.
“Sulekha began her career with Jockey Club Racecourses at Haydock Park a decade ago, and she brings a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the industry.
“Her role at Hamilton Park saw the racecourse collect a number of awards – and she is already a familiar face at Aintree, having worked closely alongside the team for the past 10 years during the Grand National Festival.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Tulloch for his dedication and his undoubted passion for racing. I look forward to Andrew’s advisory role in supporting Sulekha and her team.”