Former jockey George Baker and Aintree’s Clerk of the Course Sulekha Varma have been appointed to the judging panel for the 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards sponsored by Godolphin.
Nominations for the awards are open until Tuesday, November 8 and can be made online by anyone by visiting www.thoroughbredawards.co.uk.
Baker is a multiple Group 1-winning jockey, enjoying Classic success aboard Harbour Law in 2016. He is now a regional jockey coach based in Lambourn as well as being a highly respected pundit on Racing TV.
Having previously been Racing Manager and Clerk of the Course at Hamilton Park, Varma was named Clerk of the Course and North West Head of Racing at Aintree in December 2019.
She has since overseen the running of two renewals of the Randox Grand National, the race having been cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Baker and Varma join a judging panel chaired by broadcaster Nick Luck and including the 2022 Employee of the Year Award winner Paddy Trainor.
Baker said: “I am excited to join the judging panel for the 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards.
“There is only a week left for people to nominate their friends and colleagues and I would urge everybody to do so, because even being nominated, let alone shortlisted or winning an award, means an awful lot to those who are.
“As a jockey, a key part of my success was having horses underneath me that were well cared for, in good shape and ready to perform on the day. Behind everything I did as a jockey was a team of people at yards across the country working hard to ensure this was the case, and I am delighted to be able to play a part in once again ensuring these people are recognised and honoured for their dedication.”
Varma said: “It is an honour and a pleasure to join the panel for these prestigious awards. Over the last 18 years we have seen the impact these awards have in terms of shining a spotlight on some of the most deserving people in our industry and I very much look forward to meeting this year’s nominees and hearing their stories.”
Supported by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority in association with the Racing Post and Racing TV, the 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards will present prize-money totalling £128,500, with as much as £30,000 available to a single organisation.