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