Newmarket's Henry Cecil open weekend attracts 3,000 visitors
Up to 3,000 visitors flocked to Newmarket’s Henry Cecil open weekend, making it the most successful staging of the event since its revival in 2012.
Organisers were delighted with the turnout and there was plenty for the visitors to see with 30 racing yards open across the town plus other equine sites including Tattersalls, the Jockey Club Rooms, the National Stud, Peter O’Sullevan House and the British Racing School.
Sunday started with a gallops event at 8am on Warren Hill, where nearly 1,000 enthusiasts who had travelled from all over the country were able to see racing stars Stradivarius, Palace Pier, Mishriff and Baaeed put through their paces.
Saeed bin Suroor’s Godolphin Stables, formerly Stanley House, and built originally by the 17th Earl of Derby, was a popular new addition to the yards roster and queues had formed before the opening time of 9am.
Town mayor Cllr Michael Jefferys joined the judging team headed by organiser Stephen Wallis who picked Amy Murphy’s stable the overall winner of the annual best yard competition, with Bin Suroor’s judged the best large yard and special commendations for William Jarvis, William Knight, Philippart de Foy, Patrick Owens, Alice Haynes and Joseph Parr.
The afternoon saw a dog show, terrier racing, mounted games and celebrity showjumping take centre stage on The Severals, with jockey Jamie Spencer’s daughter Chloe, the star of the show, helping her father and trainer George Scott see off their rivals to win the team competition.
Proceeds from the weekend will go to the Newmarket Pony Academy, Racing Welfare and a soon-to-be announced town community project.