Having been chair of Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee from 1995 to 2007, it is with a heavy heart that I have followed the current, sometimes acrimonious debate regarding the future governance structure and management of Musselburgh Racecourse.

That East Lothian Council was a major force for good and catalyst for the marvellous improvements made to the course over recent years is not up for debate, and it therefore genuinely saddens me we now find ourselves in the position we are today.

However, whatever the rights and wrongs on both sides of the current management debate, it is to the future that efforts and a strategic vision for the course must now be concentrated.

I had the pleasure of working with many hard-working and dedicated staff from both the council and the racecourse whose sole objectives were to keep improving the racecourse experience whilst making it the ‘five-star’ attraction it is today.

Any future management team should not forget this.

To run and manage Musselburgh Racecourse is a privilege and with that privilege comes major responsibilities. Whoever is lucky enough to take on its running must first and foremost make Musselburgh Racecourse their priority.

Too much time, effort and sheer hard work has been spent in recent years by the people of Musselburgh and East Lothian to see any future benefits generated by the track invested in other ventures other than Musselburgh Racecourse.

To the new management team, when appointed, I wish them good luck but I’d also point out that their actions and commitments to the course will no doubt be closely followed by staff, owners and trainers, bookmakers, racegoers and annual members.

We have a marvellous product at Musselburgh. Let’s keep it that way by ensuring and committing to, the ongoing investment in the track, facilities and prizemoney. We have far too much to lose.

Pat O’Brien OBE

Chair Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee 1995-2007