Racing Welfare’s singing competition the Furlong Factor has uncovered some amazing talent hiding in the racing industry but it was Lara Telfer, with her stunning rendition of James Bay’s Let It Go, who topped the vote in Saturday’s final and walked away with the £1,500 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Qatar Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe, courtesy of Racing Breaks.
Lara was announced as the winner in a special live broadcast on Sky Sports Racing hosted by Luke Harvey and will also receive a beautiful Furlong Factor trophy, kindly donated by Inkerman London.
Lara was clearly surprised and delighted to have won, she said: “I actually can’t believe it, there were such good singers in the final, they were all incredible, I’m gobsmacked!! It’s been really fun and we can’t forget what it’s all about. Racing Welfare does an amazing job and it’s been a fantastic campaign to not only raise awareness for them but to raise some funds at a time they really need it and I’m glad I could be a part of it.”
The Furlong Factor has provided some great ‘night in’ entertainment during the lockdown period and Racing Welfare has been asking anyone who has enjoyed the performances to donate the equivalent of their usual favourite night out to their Covid-19 Emergency Appeal. The #NightIn4NightOut campaign has had plenty of support from some of racing’s most famous faces with the likes of AP McCoy, Francesca Cumani and Nicky Henderson all sharing their idea of a great night out and contributing to the appeal.
Tweeting his support for the competition Nicky Henderson said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of watching the contestants for the final of the Furlong Factor. [They] have been absolutely outstanding and I would be staggered if Simon Cowell doesn’t pluck some of these contestants into his stable. I can’t think of any better way of supporting Racing Welfare, racing’s front line, and I’m more than delighted to donate a dinner out for a dinner in and unfortunately for me I have rather expensive tastes! So well done Racing Welfare, a great evening and a great effort!”
The competition has created an incredible buzz throughout the racing industry, with #FurlongFactor trending on Twitter during the heats. To date, the Furlong Factor videos have been viewed over 603k times on Twitter with the competition generating over 3.3 million impressions across the platform.
The Furlong Factor was a fundraising initiative which saw Racing Welfare join forces with Great British Racing (GBR), the Tote and Sky Sports Racing, with the aim of raising £50,000 towards their Emergency Appeal, which has an overall target of £500,000 and donations to the appeal are still much needed.
Donate to Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal here: justgiving.com/RWEmergencyAppeal
JJ Hamblett, a former jockey and member of X-Factor finalists, Union J, was a celebrity judge for the competition. Commenting after the winner was announced he said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of the Furlong Factor, a fantastic initiative combining both my passions of horse racing and music. Lara is a truly deserved winner and, along with all of the other participants, is a credit to the racing industry.”
Sky Sports Racing’s Luke Harvey, guest host of the Furlong Factor, said: “I have loved every minute of the Furlong Factor, it has been great fun watching all the incredible talent on show. The standard has been top notch across the board, massive well done to Lara Telfer for taking the win. Most importantly of course has been the support for Racing Welfare; their team do such an amazing job and it is so crucial that we do what we can to help them help others during this crisis.”
Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare’s Chief Executive, said: “Huge congratulations to Lara Telfer! What a fantastic performance and a well-deserved win. I would like to say a massive thank to everyone who entered the competition and all those who voted for their favourite, the response has been truly incredible. It has also been wonderful to see the NightIn4NightOut campaign take off and to watch the donations come in towards our Emergency Appeal. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has shown their support so far and would encourage anyone to get involved if they haven’t done so already.”