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28 April 2020

Twenty Four Contestants Head to Heat Stages of the Furlong Factor

Following a bumper crop of entries to find racing’s singing superstars, the final 24 contenders have been selected to progress to the heat stages of Racing Welfare’s Furlong Factor.  All those who have made the heats remain in with a chance of winning 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.



Racing Welfare received more than 80 entries for the competition from all across the industry including from stable staff, owners, trainers, jockeys, racecourse workers, and camera operators.  The submissions have unveiled some amazing hidden talents,  with the entries covering everything from the very good right through to the downright hilarious.

The 24 finalists are:

Annie Martin – Rider and groom, William Haggas

Clara Greening  – Owner

Emma Chamings – PR and Communications, JSC Comms

Fred Tett – Amateur Rider

James Ferguson – Trainer

Kristen Wheeler – Stud Staff, Hillwood Stud

Lara Telfer –  South West Regional Marketing  Manager, Jockey Club

Lilli Hines – Rider, Godolphin pre-training

Rebecca Thomas – Stable Staff, Delyth Thomas Arab Racing

Ania Parry  – Stud Hand, Chasemore Farm

Brett Williams – Freelance PR and Broadcaster

Gemma Darley – Physiotherapist, IJF Jack Berry House

Gracie O’Reilly – Work Rider, Oliver Sherwood

Heather Main and Craig Pilgrim – Trainer and Owner

Julie Heneghan – Head Girl, Philip Kirby

Lee Davies – Scrum Master, Tote Product Team

Lee Turnbull – Freelance Camera Operator

Lizzie Kelly –  National Hunt Jockey

Lucy Barry – National Hunt Manager, Melbourne 10 Racing

Lucy Elder – Senior News Writer, Horse and Hound

Lyndsay Petit-Bourillon – Work Rider, Venetia Williams

Robert Pooles – Part-time Work Rider, Hughie Morrison

Fergus Sweeney – Ex-Jockey and BHA Steward

Jennifer Durrans – Part-time Work Rider, Ben Haslam

The 24 remaining contenders will go head to head in online heats, taking place at 8pm from this coming Wednesday 29th April until Monday 4th May on Racing Welfare’s Twitter page.  Four singers will compete against each other every evening, with the public voting for the winner via a Twitter poll. The heat line ups will be announced on social media each day; make sure you are following Racing Welfare on social media to vote for your favourite and help them make it into the final.

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.

Racing Welfare joined forces with Great British Racing (GBR), the Tote, and Sky Sports Racing, to launch this brand new singing competition, with the aim of bringing some light relief to the racing industry during these difficult times.  The competition also bids to raise funds for the charity, with all money donated through the Furlong Factor going to Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.

JJ Hamblett, a former jockey and member of X-Factor finalists, Union J, will be acting as a celebrity judge for the competition. He said

I'm delighted to be a judge for The Furlong Factor, it brings both my passions of singing and horseracing together, and I can't wait to find racing's very own singing superstar. Not only will the winner receive a fantastic prize but the competition will help raise important funds for Racing Welfare's Covid-19 Emergency Appeal, so I'm thrilled to be a part of this.

Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare Chief Executive, said

We have been overwhelmed by the number of entries we have received for the Furlong Factor and by the effort that has gone into the auditions. We hope that the competition will bring a smile to people’s faces and give a lift during this difficult time.  Thank you to everyone who has sent us their entries and shown such incredible support for Racing Welfare and our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.

You can support Racing Welfare now by going to justgiving.com/RWEmegergencyAppeal