REDCAR Racecourse has got ‘Straight’ down to business for the new season by announcing an “exciting” new partnership with a growing group of local business.

The SDDE Smith Group has been named as the new sponsor of Redcar’s unique Straight Mile Series, featuring nine qualifying races between April and September, and the final on October 7.

Comprising multiple brands, the business is run by Chief Executive, Dale Smith, alongside Gary Wood as Chief Operating Officer. The pair were best friends throughout their school years in Skelton, where the business has its head office.

The group began in December 2018 with the launch of Host & Stay, an upmarket holiday homes company, now owning and managing more than 700 properties.

That was quickly followed by the formation of Styled Interior Design, initially delivering projects for Host & Stay clients, but now a standalone company.

A Skelton-based law company, Grey-Smith Legal, was added in 2020, providing residential and commercial conveyancing services.

Dale and Gary had gone their separate ways after school but were reunited when Gary, who had been working as construction manager for a large building company, founded WOODSmith Construction with Dale in March 2021, and that business now forms a successful part of the SDDE Smith Group.

Since then, Manhatten Property and Selwyn Hedgley estate agencies have been added to the portfolio, and the group now employs more than 300 people – most of them from Redcar and Cleveland – with further acquisitions planned.

Several board members from the group also own Redcar Athletic Football Club, where Dale and Gary played from being in the under-8s team.

Redcar's general manager, Amy Fair (pictured below with Dale, left, and Gary) said: “We are thrilled to be teaming up with a truly remarkable local success story. We pride ourselves on being part of the community, and that’s an ethos shared with the SDDE Smith Group, so it’s the perfect match.”

Dale added: “Partnering local businesses is a major part of what we do, so we are delighted to be announcing this relationship with Redcar Racecourse, which is right at the heart of the community.”

Gary, who has been going to Redcar Races since he was three, has four horses in training, including one in partnership with Dale.

He said: “Redcar Races has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, so it’s fantastic to now be sponsoring the Straight Mile Series, which is such a competitive part of racecourse’s calendar. Redcar has such a friendly team, who bend over backwards to look after you, so we couldn’t be happier.”

Amy and Dale are both board members of Redcar and Cleveland Ambassadors, while Gary is part of East Cleveland Ambassadors.

Races in the Straight Mile Series are on April 10, April 17, May 4, May 22, June 23, August 2, August 12, August 26, September 19, and the final on Two-Year-Old Trophy Day on October 7. SDDE Smith Group’s various brands will feature in sponsorship of the races.

The group will also be a new sponsor of Ladies’ Day on June 24, with the winner of the Best-Dressed Lady competition winning a week at a Host & Stay holiday home.