Over the last six nights Racing Welfare’s brand new singing competition, the Furlong Factor, has uncovered some exceptional hidden talent from across the racing industry and the runners and riders for this Saturday’s live final have now been announced. The remaining eight final performances will be aired across Racing Welfare’s social media from 2 pm on Saturday. The overall winner of the competition will be revealed by Luke Harvey live on Sky Sports Racing from 5 pm on Saturday 9th May.
The Furlong Factor has seen Racing Welfare join forces with Great British Racing (GBR), the Tote and Sky Sports Racing, with the aim of raising much-needed funds for the charity’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal. Due to the cancellation of planned fundraising events this year, the charity is a facing a £500,000 income deficit at a time when demand for Racing Welfare’s services has never been so high. In a normal year Racing Welfare would support around 2500 people from racings workforce. To date in 2020 they already supported over 3000 individuals.
Donate to Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal here: justgiving.com/RWEmergencyAppeal
Last night’s sixth and final heat was won by Lucy Barry, National Hunt Manager for the Melbourne 10 syndicate, with her stunning rendition of Labrinth’s Jealous. She now heads to the final along with the other heat winners and two surprise wildcard finalists, chosen and announced by guest commentator JJ Hamblett this morning.
THE FURLONG FACTOR FINAL LINE UP:
Lara Telfer – South West Regional Marketing Manager, Jockey Club
James Ferguson – Trainer
Lilli Hines – Rider, Godolphin pre-training
Fred Tett – Amateur Rider
Rebecca Thomas – Stable Staff, Delyth Thomas Arab Racing
Lucy Barry – National Hunt Manager, Melbourne 10 Syndicate
Annie Martin – Rider, William Haggas
Kristen Wheeler – Stud Hand, Hillwood Stud
The final eight all remain in with a chance of walking 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. The victor will also receive a beautiful Furlong Factor trophy, kindly donated by Inkerman London.
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 519k times on Twitter alone, with the competition generating over 2.4 million impressions across the platform.
Speaking on Luck on Sunday the charity’s Director of Welfare, Simone Sear, said of the competition: “For me, it’s very much been the psychological vaccine to the Coronavirus this week.”
Tweeting his support for the competition Oli Bell said: “Superb effort! Everyone involved in this has been outstanding. They’re all brilliant, but someone needs to give Lara Telfer a record deal.”
Sky Sports Racing Presenter, Alex Hammond, was impressed with heat four contender Fred Tett, saying: “Class performance from Fred Tett! Well done and good luck in Saturday’s final.”
ITV Racing Presenter, Francesca Cumani, commented: “This competition was such a good idea and has found some amazing hidden talents, it is going to be so hard to pick just one overall winner.”
In the run-up to Saturday’s final racing fans will have the opportunity to back their favourite contestants through the Tote. Betting will open at 2.30 am on finals day and close at 1.30 pm. Funds raised by Tote bets will be donated to Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal. Supporters will then be able to vote for their favourite between 2 pm and 4 pm on Racing Welfare’s website www.racingwelfare.co.uk/furlong-factor ahead of the winner being announced.
Sky Sports Racing’s Luke Harvey, guest host of the Furlong Factor, said: “I have been blown away by the talent that the Furlong Factor has uncovered. It has been so much fun to be involved with and wonderful to see the racing industry come together in support of Racing Welfare. The final on Saturday is going to be a blast, I’ve got no idea how the voters are going to choose a winner, it’s sure to be a close contest.”
Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare’s Chief Executive, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support the Furlong Factor has received, to see so many entries from so many talented people has been wonderful and the reaction on social media from across the whole industry has been fantastic. I hope that the competition has raised awareness of our services during these difficult times. The demand for help from Racing Welfare has never been higher than now and I would ask everyone who has been watching and enjoying the Furlong Factor so far to donate to our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal if they can. We really do appreciate your support.”