All posts by Dalia Courridge

Dalia Courridge

About Dalia Courridge

Marketing Executive at Fakenham Racecourse. Passionate about digital marketing. Great lover of coffee, healthy living and enjoys a day at the races.

Cobden and Nicholls at the double as Fakenham’s new season gets off to a flying start

Man of the moment Harry Cobden followed up a treble at Wincanton 24 hours earlier by landing two top prizes on Fakenham’s opening day of the National Hunt season on Friday. Cobden, riding for champion trainer Paul Nicholls, partnered the Trevor Hemmings owned Touch Kick to take the £16,500 Sky Sports Racing Chase over three miles. The 11/4 chance produced a fine display of jumping to win by seven lengths.


“He is really progressive. He has always been a bit keen but today he relaxed, his breathing was better and he took it all in. I think he could go on to greater things,” said Cobden


An eventful two-mile novice hurdle 35 minutes earlier went to Nicholls and Cobden with Red Force One, returned at 13/8.


Favourite Notre Pari looked to be cruising under Barry Geraghty but a shuddering error three out put him out of contention and it was left for the Red Force One to notch his first hurdling victory.


Redzor, under a great ride from Bridget Andrews, took the Sky Sports Racing Novice Chase after a superb display of jumping.

The 6/1 chance in the five-runner field, trained by Dan Skelton, led with two circuits to go and failed to see another rival, storming home by 21 lengths.


“He jumped so well that I decided to press on. I knew it was a bit sticky out there and thought the novices behind me might struggle so pushed on and he won easily,” said Bridget.


Jersey Bean finished second but nothing landed a challenge to Redzor, who proved far too good on his chasing debut.

Ten-year-old gelding Trapper Peak made it four wins on the trot when landing the two-and-a-half mile handicap hurdle under Billy Garritty for trainer Justin Landy.

Always handy, the 7/4 favourite burst through before the final flight and comfortably held Haafapiece and Late Night Lily to add to recent successes at Sedgefield, Catterick and Southwell.


“This horse is an absolute diamond. My girlfriend rides him out every day at home and she is the key to him. She knows when to get him to do a little more. She has a great partnership with him and he’s won well again,” said Landy, based in Leyburn.


The finish to the season’s opener, the selling hurdle, was the best of the day, with Skeaping edging out favourite Ballyellis.

Ballyellis took it up three out but Skeaping, returned at 4/1 under Luca Morgan for Phil Middleton, nosed in front before the final flight and held on.

Cobden and Nicholls were thwarted in their hat-trick bid in the finale when Dogon could only finish third behind runaway winner The Wolf, under Adrian Heskin for Olly Murphy, returned the 4/7 favourite.

Words by Terry Redhead


The Greene King Raceday 



Champion trainer’s all out attack on Fakenham’s opening day of new NH racing season

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has four chances to get the new 2019-2020 Fakenham National hunt racing season off to a flying start this afternoon, including in the day’s £16,500 feature race at 4.05pm. Somerset-based Nicholls, with a 32 per cent strike rate so far this season, has Harry Cobden in the saddle for all four rides.


Seven go in the feature with Nicholls running Touch Kick, an eight-year-old whose last appearance was at Aintree’s Grand National festival.


Favourite is the Caroline Bradley trained Elkstone under James Bowen. The gelding was a recent Huntingdon winner and steps up in distance for the three-mile chase.


Hepijeu won the Jarrold Ladies Day Chase in June and the Snellings Norfolk National in May at Fakenham, and returns for trainer Stuart Edmunds while also in the mix is the mare Treackle Tart, a Warwick winner last time.


The other chase on Sky Sports Racing Day is over three miles at 3pm in which Nicholls and Cobden have four rivals to their Rhythm is a Dancer. Their six-year-old was fourth last time, at Ayr.


Oliver Sherwood’s Jersey Bean under Leighton Aspell, a Perth runner-up in May, and Aidan Coleman’s mount Angel of Harlem for trainer Olly Murphy, look key rivals, the latter a recent Uttoxeter winner.


Nicholls’ Red Force One is hot favourite for the 3.30pm Sky Racing Hurdle. The gelding was runner-up on the flat at Haydock having been third over timber at Stratford in his second hurdle contest.


Interesting rival is the Barry Geraghty ridden Notre Pari, the five-year-old third on debut in April and not seen since.

Nicholls and Cobden hold a favourite’s chance in the four-runner 4.35pm novice hurdle with Dogon. The four-year-old returns after wind surgery, having been pulled up in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Main rival is The Wolf, having a first run for trainer Murphy since leaving Warren Greatrex’s yard.


The day’s first action is the 1.55pm selling hurdle, favourite for which is Ballyellis, bidding for a hat-trick of wins under Jason Nailor for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.


Biggest field of the day sees nine go in the handicap hurdle at 2.25pm, headed by Trapper Peak under Billy Garritty. The 10-year-old has his first run for trainer Justin Landy, having won his last three starts.


Selections: 1.55 Ballyellis, 2.25pmTrapper Peak, 3pm Angel of Harlem, 3.30pm Notre Pari, 4.05pm Elkstone, 4.35pm Dogo.

Words by Terry Redhead.

Norfolk National winner returns as Fakenham aims for a flying start to the season

Fakenham Racecourse will get its new National Hunt racing season off to a flying start on Friday (October 18) with the Sky Sports Racing Day which is supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Earlier this year, the EAAA Anglia One crew from Norwich was called out to Fakenham Racecourse when a racegoer collapsed, suffering a cardiac arrest.

A paramedic performed CPR within seconds and the man received immediate care from the racecourse medics before being flown to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by the EAAA. Happily, the racegoer went on to make a full recovery.

For Friday’s meeting, £5 will be donated to the EAAA, from every advance ticket bought online before midday on Thursday.

David Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Fakenham Racecourse, said: “Fakenham is proud to be supporting the EAAA, along with Sky Sports Racing. The work of the air ambulance is vital to the region. Norfolk has many people working and pursuing leisure activities in isolated places and if something goes wrong it is the intervention of the air ambulance that makes all the difference. Fakenham Racecourse has sponsored a mission for the air ambulance for £3,500 and I implore all Norfolk businesses to do the same.”

The six-race card on Friday opens at 1.55pm and two quality chases at 3pm and 4.05pm are the day’s highlights.

In the 4.05pm Breeders Cup on Sky Sports Racing Chase, trainer Stuart Edmunds returns with Fakenham favourite Hepijeu. The eight-year-old gelding won the Jarrold Ladies Day Chase at the track in June having secured victory in the Snellings Norfolk National at the course a month earlier.

Hepijeu has already had a seasonal pipe-opener, finishing runner-up at Sedgefield a month ago, in readiness for a crack at Friday’s £16,500 contest.

At 3pm, the Sky Sports Racing Novice Chase had attracted seven entries topped by trainer Olly Murphy’s Angel of Harlem for whom jockey Aidan Coleman is booked. The six-year-old mare won at Uttoxeter a month ago.

The racecourse has a new partnership with locals Rajan and Rita Verma who will run a new restaurant on race days that offers cuisine from the Punjab region of India. The new Punjabi Cuisine Restaurant, overlooking the parade ring, replaces Weston’s Seafood Restaurant, its owner Willie Weston having decided to semi-retire.

Words by Terry Redhead

Book your advance tickets online before 12pm on Thursday, 17th October! 


East Anglia Air Ambulance Mission Success Story

Emma and baby Jessie ( now called Willow) saved by East Anglian Air Ambulance

Emma was 37 weeks pregnant when she lost three litre’s of blood and suffered a full placental abruption. Emma and her baby, Jessie, (now called Willow) survived due to the quick thinking of the HEMS crew and team work between all medical staff involved that day.

On 29th of May 2018, Emma, from Royston, was 37 weeks pregnant and at home going about her daily routine. It was half term so all of her children were at home with her. Suddenly she had a gushing feeling and severe abdominal pain. She knew as soon as this happened it was not labour, Emma was bleeding heavily and in excruciating pain. Her eldest daughter Gracie quickly rang Emma’s fiancé Phil, who works locally and was able to rush home within five minutes.

By this time Emma had lost a lot of blood as she was suffering from a full placental abruption. This is where the placenta separates from the uterus early before birth. This can be highly dangerous for both Emma and her unborn baby.

A 999 call was made at 10.48 from Emma’s home, the HEMS crew was tasked just 15 minutes later at 11.03 by rapid response vehicle. In this time a first responder had arrived at the scene and given Emma IV fluids, shortly followed by an EEAST team. This would be a very unfamiliar scene to most clinicians.

Doctor Pam Chrispin and Critical Care Paramedics Page Chamberlain and Neil Flowers arrived at the scene at 11.26. A fast assessment was made and the crew knew they needed to get Emma straight to a major trauma hospital as fast as possible. The crew left with Emma, Phil and the EEAST team just 1 minute later at 11.27. Emma was monitored and treated throughout the journey to Addenbrooke’s Hospital by the EAAA crew.

“As soon as I got into the ambulance I realised that this was a time-critical, potentially catastrophic situation. As an anaesthetist, I had seen similar situations before and it was obvious to me that her condition was very serious and she was in a huge amount of pain. I was very concerned that both Emma and her baby could die on the way to hospital.”

DOCTOR PAM CHRISPIN, East Anglian Air Ambulance

East Anglia Air Ambulance Mission Success Story

Emma was taken straight to the Rosie Maternity ward where the team were prepping for immediate surgery. Doctor Pam said;
“The Rosie ward was fantastic and did not question our diagnosis or level of concern, they just took Emma into theatre straight away.”

Phil was ushered outside the operating theatre where Doctor Pam kindly waited with him, giving him support while they waited for news. Emma had suffered severe blood loss of around 3 litres in total, haemorrhaging before and after the operation. In this time a blood clot had formed the same size as the placenta.

When Emma’s baby was delivered the team had to start CPR immediately to save baby Jessie. After a very long ten minutes, the team managed to regain a pulse. Once Jessie was stable, she was rushed to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to be looked after by a team of specialists. In the weeks to come, Emma had to have blood transfusions and ongoing medical care due to the severity and nature of the delivery.

Emma and Jessie survived due to the quick thinking of all medical staff involved that day. As part of their recovery, both Emma and her fiancé Phil received support from the Petals counselling service at Addenbrooke’s. Petals is a charity that works alongside the clinical team at the Rosie ward to deliver a specialist counselling service dedicated to the psychological care and wellbeing of women and their partners. Emma and her fiancé Phil are extremely grateful for the amazing service they provide which has helped them to come to terms with their traumatic ordeal. They are eternally grateful to the air ambulance team and everyone involved in saving their lives.

We were delighted to see Emma, her family and the new addition to the family – baby Jessie, at our Cambridge base just eight months after the delivery. The aftercare service we provide gives our patients and their families post-incident support and care. It is also a chance for our crews to find out what happened next and how our patients are recovering.

East Anglia Air Ambulance Mission Success Story



“It was such a thrill to meet Emma and Phil again with baby Jessie and see how well they are all doing. This is a terrifying thing for anyone to go through and I can only admire their strength as a family. Not all air ambulance work is about technical skills; our clinicians also bring a huge amount of experience and decision-making capability to patients. It can be a difficult job at times, it can also be emotional so meeting Emma again and giving beautiful Jessie a cuddle will forever be one of my highlights.” – Doctor Pam Chrispin.

Talking to Doctor Pam, Emma said; “You are my absolute hero, today was one of the most amazing days of my life. To be able to meet you, and thank you in person for saving my darling daughter and I is truly an honour and I will be forever grateful to you. You are so kind and compassionate, and unbelievably humble.”

Emma later decided to change Jessie’s name to Willow as this suited her better and all that she’d been through at birth.

This story was originally shared on the East Anglian Air Ambulance website and is shared with their permission.

You can support East Anglian Air Ambulance at our Start of The Season raceday Sponsored by Sky Sports Racing.


There will be a number of ways for you to engage with the charity – from attending their stand located in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, to watching live on-site CPR demonstrations by their paramedics.


There are plans for the actual air ambulance helicopter to land on the course at midday and to leave at 1.15 pm, but this is, of course pending availability in case the paramedics are called out on a mission to attend an emergency.


You will be able to chat with many of the charity ambassadors on the day and find out how you can support this incredible charity besides the bucket collection. There are so many ways to get involved!



Fakenham Racecourse are huge supporters of this charity, therefore we pledged to donate £5 for each advance ticket sold online using the code EAAA5 at the checkout. There is no cost or hidden fees passed on to you, the racegoer  – we will simply donate £5 off each ticket sold online. All you need to do is make sure you use the code EAAA5 at the checkout, and we will donate the money on your behalf.


Be sure to book your tickets before midday on 17th October 2019 in order for your donation code to be included.


New Bar and Punjabi Cuisine Restaurant launch at season opener at Fakenham Racecourse

Fakenham Racecourse is delighted to confirm a new partnership with local Fakenham couple Rajan and Rita Verma who will run a new restaurant on racedays that will offer the finest cuisine from the Punjab region of India. The new Punjabi Cuisine Restaurant, which is in the Course Enclosure overlooking the parade ring, replaces Weston’s Seafood Restaurant which finished in June when the long serving and very affable owner, Willie Weston, decided to semi retire and reduce his working hours. Thus, Fakenham Racecourse saw an opportunity to work with another independent and local catering business.


David Hunter, Chief Executive of Fakenham Racecourse said:

‘Willy and his family have provided an outstanding seafood restaurant at Fakenham Races for many years, for which we are very grateful. On his retirement, we had the opportunity to work with an alternative local catering business and we felt that a change might be appreciated. Raj and Rita have an established food business, Currylicious, which provides outstanding Indian food that is inspired by the Punjab region which is where Raj and Rita families originate. It will be a real joy to work with them and I know they will provide a local, friendly, seasonal and fun service which will produce the very best of Punjab flavoured food.’

Westons seafood Restaurant at Fakenham Racecourse is replaced by the new Punjabi Cuisine inspired Indian Restaurant and bar. Pictured from left: Rajan Verma, David Hunter and Rita Verma.

Rajan and Rita started their business in 2017 after discovering there was a gap in the market for a unique home cooked Indian food with a difference. So far, the business has mainly focused on supplying the retail sector, cooking for private parties and events and a mobile catering unit attending farmers’ and local markets.

Rajan Verma said:

“We have worked closely with the racecourse to completely redesign and redecorate the restaurant and bar to give it fresh, upbeat feel and we are very excited and thoroughly looking forward to welcoming diners at the race meeting on Friday 18th October. We pride ourselves on the ethos that all our food is home cooked, locally sourced and the recipes have been handed down the generations. The result is an infusion of delicate spices to bring you the real taste of India without overbearing heat or mouth burning of the pallet. Further to this we have focused on the healthy aspect of Indian cooking and all our curries are cooked in their natural juices without any added fat such as ghee, butter or oil.”



The people from Punjab mainly eat vegetarian dishes and meat is only eaten during special occasions, but the menu at Fakenham Races will offer meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes to suit all tastes. Racegoers will also be able to buy food to take away and the newly refurbished Parade Ring Bar will quench the thirsts of the diners and racegoers alike!

To book a table at the Punjabi Cuisine Restaurant please ring 07957 402402 or email .

Fakenham Racecourse and East Anglian Air ambulance Raceday Norfolk News

Fakenham Racecourse to Support Life-saving Charity After Racegoer Almost Died

On Friday 18th October Fakenham Racecourse will start its season of National Hunt racing with the Sky Sports Racing raceday which is supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

The EAAA provide life-saving emergency medical support by helicopter all over the region, with 40% of its missions taking place in Norfolk.

Earlier this year, at the 4th March race meeting, the EAAA Anglia One crew from Norwich were called out to Fakenham Racecourse when a racegoer collapsed, suffering a cardiac arrest just before the first race.

A paramedic performed CPR within seconds and the man received immediate expert medical care from the Racecourse medical team before being flown to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by the EAAA. Happily, the racegoer went on to make a full recovery.


£5 will be donated to the EAAA by Fakenham Racecourse, at no expense to the racegoers, from every advance ticket bought online from the Racecourse website before midday Thursday 17th October ahead of the Sky Sports Racing Raceday on Friday 18th October. To activate the donation the code  EAAA5 must be entered at the Racecourse’s website at the checkout.

Ticket prices are Course Enclosure (£10), Grandstand & Paddock (£15) and Day Member (£20). All children aged 17 and under, accompanied by an adult, go racing free of charge. Tickets can be bought on the day for £10, £18 and £23 but donations to EAAA will only be made for advanced bookings. Gates open from 11am with first race starting at 1.55pm and last of six races taking place at 4.35pm.

Fakenham Racecourse and East Anglian Air ambulance Raceday Norfolk News
Photo by East Anglian Air Ambulance.

There will also be a special reception in aid of EAAA for up to 100 guests in the Lancaster Room which overlooks the racecourse, where for £50 per ticket racegoers can enjoy the day’s racing whilst socialising and supporting the life-saving charity over a two-course lunch. The cost will include entry to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, car parking and a racecard


Conor McGeown, Head of Development at EAAA, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of Fakenham Racecourse and to have been invited to host our first ever charity raceday at Fakenham. We need the support of the Norfolk community now more than ever as we need to raise an additional £1 million each year, bringing our total income needed to £13 million a year, in order to deliver our life-saving care 24 hours a day by helicopter. We currently fly until midnight, with support available 24/7 by rapid response vehicle, but know there is a great need for 24/7 helicopter coverage, especially in rural Norfolk.”


David Hunter, CEO of Fakenham Racecourse, said: “Fakenham Racecourse is delighted and very proud to be supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance, along with our media partner Sky Sports Racing. The work of the air ambulance is vital to the region and anyone of us could need their life saving help at any time of day, and as will soon be the case, or night. Norfolk has many people working and pursuing leisure activities in isolated places, often on their own or in small groups, and if something goes wrong it is the intervention of the air ambulance that makes all the difference. Fakenham Racecourse has sponsored a mission for the air ambulance at a cost of £3,500 and I implore all Norfolk businesses and companies to get behind this charity and do the same. If 286 businesses committed to sponsoring a mission each year that would cover the extra funding needed to provide the night time cover.”


The East Anglian Air Ambulance can fly to anywhere in East Anglia within 25 minutes, taking the emergency department to the patient. The charity receives no regular government funding and rely on the generosity of the community to raise the £13 million a year needed to deliver and develop the service to fly 24 hours day.


Currently, the air ambulance can only fly until midnight, with a seven-hour gap in coverage which is covered by rapid response vehicle. EAAA is aiming to fly 24/7 by end of 2020, becoming the first air ambulance in the East of England to do so but need to raise an extra million a year to do this.


To book tickets go to: and to book a reception ticket at the Lancaster room please call 01328 862388 Ext 3.


Bumper Easter Helps Racing Attendances Flourish in H1 Fakenham Racecourse

Bumper Easter Helps Racing Attendances Flourish in H1

* Total and average attendances for January to June 2019 rise 2%

*Bumper Easter weekend sees over 100,000 enjoy a day at the races

*Drive for advance sales continues to reap the reward with 6% increase

*Attendance figures withstand the impact of the equine influenza outbreak


British Horseracing has welcomed the latest Levy Board (HBLB) attendance figures which indicate a 2% rise in both total and average attendances for the first half of 2019. These were boosted by the brilliant weather and excellent racing over Easter, with over 100,000 people heading to the races from Good Friday to Easter Monday. A total of 704 fixtures took place during the first six months of both 2018 and 2019.

The impact of the equine flu outbreak, which saw a national postponement of racing from Thursday 7th February to Tuesday 12th February inclusive, was significant for the sport, however, overall attendance figures indicate the durability of the public’s appetite and affection for horseracing.

In a like-for-like comparison with 2018, the first six months of 2019 have seen a 2% rise in total attendance to 2,801,512 whilst the average attendance per fixture has also risen 2% to 3,979. Some of the sport’s most iconic events helped boost these figures, including The Festival™ at Cheltenham and the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs where each day of both events saw an increase in attendance from 2018.

Advance ticket sales have continued to show sustained growth with a 6% year-on-year increase[1]. This remains of utmost importance to racecourses to protect attendances and revenue in a crowded leisure market and provides racegoers with the better value given the price incentives on offer by purchasing tickets in advance.

The Easter weekend, occurring later in the year than in 2018, saw four fantastic days of racing action taking place across 20 fixtures on 19 different British racecourses. More than 102,000 racegoers were in attendance with an increase[2] of 123% in advance sales over the weekend, which saw some 45,000 tickets purchased ahead of the raceday.

As we enter the second half of 2019, there is plenty to look forward to with summer jumps racing and major flat festivals at York, Doncaster and Newmarket followed by the climax of the Flat season with QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. The GBR-led national Under 18s Race Free campaign will also be in full swing alongside the summer school holidays, led by Strictly Come Dancing superstar and mother of two Tess Daly as campaign ambassador.


David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association, said: “I am delighted to see the hard work of racecourses pay off and result in an increase to both the total and average attendance figures, with excellent performances by racecourses of all sizes.

“The equine flu outbreak was a difficult period for the sport, but it is hugely reassuring to see that attendances increased despite the national postponement of racing.

“Working collaboratively with Great British Racing, our focus on data has allowed us to give bespoke, targeted support to racecourses via our Marketing Services programme. We will continue this programme and look forward to helping racecourses attract more customers to the sport and enhance the experience of those customers whilst they are on site.”


Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing, added “competition for the leisure pound is getting fiercer and racing is rising to the challenge. Racegoing provides a big opportunity to get people closer to the sport and grow their interest, so these latest figures are encouraging.”


HOG Rally returns to Fakenham for 17th Year

Fenlanders Chapter Harley Owners Group 27th East of England Rally at Fakenham Racecourse

From the 25th to 28th July, returning to the excellent facilities at Fakenham Racecourse’s 4 Star touring caravan park, the Fenlanders Chapter of the Harley Davidson Owners Group are once again holding their annual Rally attracting hundreds of Harley motorcycle enthusiasts from across the UK, Europe and even further afield.

The Harley Owners Group (HOG) is the largest single marque enthusiast’s club in the world with well over one million members. The Fenlanders Chapter, started in 1991, has in-excess of 300 members and is sponsored by Newmarket Harley-Davidson dealership, which is part of the Lind Group of companies.


A ticket only event, the Rally has been held at Fakenham Racecourse since 2002. As well as Rally goers enjoying Fakenham Racecourse, the North Norfolk coast and villages, Ride-Outs are planned to Norwich, Hunstanton and the now famous Ride-in Street Party at Sheringham on Saturday 27th July. The latter is again guaranteed to bring the crowds back to watch as more than 400 gleaming Harley Davidson’s enter this fantastic seaside town where they will be welcomed by the Mayor.


In Fakenham town centre on Saturday 27th July, there will be a display of these iconic motorbikes from 9am to 10:30am and a Newmarket Harley Davidson dealership stall. The bikes will then ride through the town from just after 11am and follow the route below to Sheringham:


Walsingham 11.15


Holkham Hall 11.30

Wells sea front 11.45


Blakney sea front 12.05

Sheringham 12.15


Neil Billig, the director and organiser of the event said:

“We are very excited for our 27th annual ride out event. With less than a week to go, all hands are on deck to make sure everything goes smoothly. Thank you to Fakenham Racecourse for hosting us again and we hope that many town residents will enjoy the event.”


David Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse said:

We are delighted to be welcoming the Fenlanders Chapter to Fakenham Racecourse for 17th consecutive year. Whilst it is a private event, the public can watch the ride out at Fakenham town and admire the bikes on set locations throughout Norfolk. It is a fantastic attraction and offers a tremendous boost to the local economy.”


The three-day event raises thousands of pounds for charity each year so be sure to wave, as the riders pass by and the bikers really appreciate the general public’s patience as they wind their way around the Norfolk coast and countryside.


More than 80% of UK parents say cost prevents children from participating in outdoor activities

Parents want children to spend more time outdoors during the summer holidays and call for more cost-effective options. A new study has revealed that 83% of parents in the UK believe there aren’t enough low-cost activities available for children during the summer holidays, leading to more children spending fewer hours outside.


In research commissioned by Great British Racing for its ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign, it was found that parents are becoming increasingly concerned with the sedentary lifestyle of their children, with 86% of parents wanting their children to spend more time outdoors during the school holidays.

The majority of outdoor activities on offer, however, are considered to be too expensive, with live sporting events highlighted as being particularly pricey: 77% of parents have been put off taking their children to live sport because of the cost of the ticket, while 60% of parents surveyed do not take their children to live sport at all.

This certainly seems to be a recent phenomenon; more than half (51%) of parents said that they watched more live sport when they were younger compared to their children now, with cost once again being a major contributing factor.

Great British Racing ambassador and parent of two, Tess Daly commented, “As a parent, the school holidays provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your children, yet finding activities that are stimulating, healthy and affordable can be a challenge. As a child my parents went out of their way to take me to live sport and I do the same for my kids now – there’s nothing better than a day at the races. As well as the thrill of the racing, the kids are able to run around in the fresh air and there are plenty of activities for them too, from having their faces painted to meeting the racehorses.”

Daly is promoting Great British Racing’s ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign through which accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge to the vast majority of race meetings during the year. There are more than 200 race meetings up and down the country over the school holidays, including more than 50 specific family days with additional activities put on for families and young people. You can watch a video of Daly recently visiting a racehorse trainer’s yard here or by clicking the image. An embed is available below.


Under 18s Race Free, Tess Daily. Great British Racing
Under 18s Race Free, Tess Daily. Great British Racing


As well as unmissable action on the track, racecourses provide a range of free experiences for under 18s including pony rides, the chance to meet a racehorse and fairground attractions, making it a great and affordable day out for all the family. Kids will also be able to set their imaginations racing with the opportunity to go behind the scenes at several racecourses, stepping into the shoes of those that make every race meeting possible.


Toby Shaw, Director of Communications & Marketing at Great British Racing, added, “Racing remains one of Britain’s most popular spectator sports, with millions enjoying the excitement of a day at the races each year. At Great British Racing, we want to introduce more youngsters to the thrill of the sport and, with 50 dedicated family days across the summer, our ‘Under 18s Race Free’ campaign provides an unforgettable day out in the fresh air for the whole family, without having to break the bank.”


Find your local family race day at

Jarrold Ladies Day best dressed competitions 2019

Ciaran’s Fakenham love affair blooms as National star Hepijeu sparkles for the ladies

Hepijeu, winner of the Norfolk National in May, returned to a Fakenham bathed in the sunshine to add the Jarrold Ladies Day Chase to his roll of honour.

While some thought Hepijeu a little lucky to take the National, when his nearest rival fell at the final fence, there was nothing fortunate about this victory under the course’s leading rider of the season, Ciaran Gethings.

The 5/2 chance timed his effort perfectly and ran clear to beat Fifty Shades in a thrilling five-runner contest in which all jumped superbly.

“I love coming here. It’s always in great condition with a lovely covering of grass. I’ve won here 11 times and 10 of those have been for Hepijeu’s trainer Stuart Edmunds. The horse travelled so well today,” he added. Trainer Edmunds missed the success, away in Ireland.

Gethings collected the David Turner Trophy as the season’s leading rider in north Norfolk, having managed eight victories, three more than nearest rival James Bowen.

Bryony Frost was beaming with joy after taking the Longwater Construction Supplies Novice Chase after a superb round of jumping on trainer Neil King’s Regulation.

The 10-year-old gelding switched from hurdles to chasing a fortnight ago and won a three-runner contest at Stratford. And he made it two from two after leading from start to finish, returned at 7/2.

He was magic. He’s a real pocket rocket. It’s great when you can trust in your horse and he never put a foot wrong. I really fancied him on this ground and he never let me down,” said Bryony, who scored by six lengths from Templepark with favourite Felix Mendelssohn third.

Just four went in the opening Stibbard Handicap Hurdle and there was a minor shock when hat-trick seeking Sirobbie was turned over by 3/1 chance West to Crossgales.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson stalked the 4/9 favourite from the start before pressing the accelerator around the final bend in the three-mile contest to land the spoils for trainer Charlie Pogson by more than a length. It was the eight-year-old gelding’s first win under rules in a race in which he had finished second last year.

Sam Twiston-Davies was full of praise for trainer Dr Richard Newland after YCCS Portocervo pulled off a shock 9/1 success in the Wordingham Plant Hire Ltd Maiden Hurdle.

The French-bred grey gelding had run out at Warwick on his British debut but with a hood to calm him down and a left-handed track, everything was in his favour and he led from start to finish.

That was a good run round. I like him a lot. The trainer’s horses are really happy horses and are running well at the moment,” said the winning jockey.

There was drama in the lady amateur riders’ contest when Angel of the North slipped up approaching the final bend giving leading point-to-point rider Gina Andrews a nasty-looking fall.

That left two horses clear but they were picked off by 11/8 favourite Cottonvale, who raced home from a long way adrift to win under Isabel Williams for trainer Christian Williams.

The finale further boosted trainer David Pipe’s terrific strike rate at Fakenham when Max Do Brazil under Tom Scudamore won the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards Novice Chase for the Prince of Wales Cup, returned at 15/8.

Words by Terry Redhead