Last night saw four singers go head-to-head in the first heat of Racing Welfare’s Furlong Factor. The standard was incredibly high and they all enjoyed a huge amount of support across social media, but it was Lara Telfer who came out on top with her beautiful rendition of Birdy’s song, Wings.
Lara is Regional Marketing Manager for the Jockey Club’s South West region, based at Cheltenham Racecourse. She has been involved in racing her whole life and had a successful stint as a point-to-point rider before hanging up her boots after having her first child. Despite her incredible singing voice, Lara said she had previously never been brave enough to perform publicly, but overcame her initial nerves to show her support for Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.
Speaking this morning, Lara said: “I was overwhelmed and thank you so much to everyone for their support last night. The other contestants were amazing and tonight’s heat again looks a real hot one. I’ll certainly enjoy watching that a little bit more than I did my own last night! It’s now on to the final which I’m pretty nervous about, I’m certainly under no illusions that it’s going to be a tough one but I’ll give it my best shot and see how we get on.”
Hopefully, Lara’s confidence will be boosted for the final after she received support on Twitter from some famous faces including ITV racing’s Chris Hughes, Paul Nicholls OBE, and Oli Bell. Tweeting his support for the competition Oli said: “They’re all brilliant, but someone needs to give Lara Telfer a record deal.”
Listen to Lara’s reaction to her win
The 24 contenders are going head-to-head in online heats that continue every night until Monday 4th May, taking place at 8 pm on Racing Welfare’s Twitter page. All of the contestants are vying to win the £1,500 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Qatar Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe.
Coming up in tonight’s heat is James Ferguson, Newmarket’s newest young trainer; two very talented singers from the stable staff ranks in the form of Annie Martin and Lyndsay Petit-Bourillon; and Lee Turnbull, a camera operator, with his take on a Johnny Cash classic.
JJ Hamblett, a former jockey and member of X-Factor finalists Union J, who is the celebrity commentator for the competition, said: “Huge congratulations to Lara Telfer for her win last night in heat one of the Furlong Factor. I was hugely impressed by the talent on show, they should all be really proud. I can’t wait to see who is coming up in heat two tonight.”
The winners of each heat will progress to the live Furlong Factor Final which will be broadcast on Sky Sports Racing on Saturday 9th May. In the run-up to the final racing fans will have the opportunity to back their favourite contestants through the Tote, before the winner of the Furlong Factor 2020 is announced. Funds raised by Tote bets will be donated to Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.
You can support Racing Welfare now by going to justgiving.com/RWEmergencyAppeal.