Plans for Newmarket’s celebrations to mark the Coronation of King Charles III under way
Plans for Newmarket’s celebrations to mark the Coronation of King Charles III are well under way and there is a chance the Monarch could have a Classic runner at the Rowley Mile on the day he is crowned.
Slipofthepen, trained by John and Thady Gosden, is entered in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, May 6, and the colt emerged as a potential Classic contender with an eye-catching performance when winning at Kempton on Monday.
Asked after the race if the Night of Thunder colt, who also runs in the name of the Queen Consort, was a potential Classic runner, Thady Gosden said: “We will see how he comes out of the race, but it is possible he will be going in that direction.”
Bred by the late Queen, Slipofthepen is a chestnut just like Pall Mall, the last colt to carry the Royal colours to victory in the first Classic of the season, back in 1958.
And the Rowley Mile has announced plans for a special celebration as the three-day QIPCO Guineas Festival coincides with the Coronation. It will be focused on being affordable in a year when many families’ finances are under pressure, and will include initiatives relating to the environment as well as for the local community.
The racecourse will be themed to reflect the national celebration and will open its gates early on the Saturday to show the Coronation, with dedicated screens around the course, and racing beginning slightly later in the afternoon. A garden party-themed picnic enclosure will be created trackside for the Saturday and Sunday, where a family of four can attend for just £32 and take their own food and drink.
Soprano Laura Wright will sing the national anthem and there will be traditional music from Haverhill Silver Band as well as Union flags for racegoers and a free memento for attendees. And there will even be an opportunity to receive a masterclass from jockeys who have ridden in the royal colours in the QIPCO British Champions’ series fanzone, as well as a retired royal racehorse and a Coronation-themed photo theatre set.
Town celebrations will be on bank holiday Monday, May 8, and will be focused on The Severals where attractions will include fairground rides, a games arena, a children’s art workshop with free crown-making for 250 children, a rodeo horse and the Space Wheel, an acrobatic stunt display.
On the Coronation stage, the town crier will lead the singing of the national anthem at 1pm and then there will be live music through to 6.30pm featuring local group Mighty Macca and an Ed Sheeran tribute act.
A festival of volunteering is also being planned for the day by local community groups. Town mayor, Cllr Philippa Winter said: “At the King’s request we’ll particularly spotlight the diversity of our local volunteer groups promoting amazing community spirit. Do bring your families and friends and join us.”