Newmarket gearing up for parade of stars at popular event
The 32Red Newmarket Open Weekend starts on Saturday, with a range of activities to whet the appetite before the big stars come out to play on Sunday.
A total of 18 trainers at racing's headquarters, including Charlie Appleby, Roger Varian, David Simcock, Luca Cumani, Ed Dunlop, James Fanshawe and Michael Bell, will open the doors to their stables from 9am-12.30pm on Sunday, with Bell also parading Gold Cup hero Big Orange at his Fitzroy House yard.
An action-packed day starts at 8am on the Warren Hill gallops where spectators can watch superstars Enable, Cracksman, Ulysses and Marsha put through their paces.
The weekend culminates with the racing personality showjumping competition, featuring first-timers Silvestre de Sousa, Josephine Gordon and James Doyle as well as Frankie Dettori and Andrea Atzeni, while other activities on the Severals include a football match between stable staff and jockeys and trainers.
With more than 40 yards in Newmarket there have been questions about why more are not open. But organisers say they are content with the number – an extra three on last year – arguing that in the past visitors have struggled to get around more, with other attractions such as the National Stud, Tattersalls and Newmarket Equine Hospital to take in as well across the weekend.
Saturday's main entertainment will take place in the afternoon in the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Arena at the National Heritage Centre, where there will be historical horse displays and demonstrations.
Of the funds raised, 80 per cent will go to Racing Welfare's Newmarket Housing Project, with the rest split between the Newmarket Day Centre and Newmarket Academy's Social Mobility Fund.
"This year we have had made some exciting new changes with the food and drink festival and the afternoon entertainments. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to Newmarket for what is set to be a fun and action-packed weekend."
Tickets can be purchased on the day from any of the equine sites open, with under 18s free. Full details at newmarketopenweekend.co.uk.