When and where events are on at Newmarket's Henry Cecil Open Weekend
Among the Newmarket yards open to visitors as part of the Henry Cecil Open Weekend is one of the town's most historic.
Heath House Stables is home to Sir Mark Prescott who will be opening for the first time as per the terms of a wager with open weekend chairman, Charlie Fellowes, who stayed clean shaven for six months on Newmarket Heath.
“Following the shameful duplicity and mendacity of the Open Weekend chairman, Mr Fellowes, I have been tricked and deceived into opening the historic yards at Heath House and Osborne House to the public for the first time," said Sir Mark. "Nevertheless, we look forward to welcoming everyone who would like to see the unique features that are contained behind the yards’ famous glass topped walls.”
Before Sir Mark's time the yards have been home to some of racing's most famous names in particular Mathew Dawson, one of the first trainers to open a public stable , who trained 26 Classic winners there including St Simon one of the greatest horses in the history of racing.He nurtured the career of the legendary jockey Fred Archer, who was champion from 1874 to 1886, and married his guv'nor's niece Nellie.
Archer's sweat box is still in the yard, while across the Moulton Road there is Osborne House where the little known Ellen Chaloner wrote her own piece of racing history when on the death of her trainer husband Tom she was allowed to take on the licence by the Jockey Club becoming the first woman to do so. She was a popular figure out on the Heath, riding out side saddle.
Tours for 15-20 people at a time, six in total, will be taken around the yard by Sir Mark, his assistant William Butler and former head lad Colin Nutter.
Other trainers confirmed to open their yards between 9am and 12:30pm on Sunday, include; Roger Varian, James Fanshawe, Amy Murphy, David Simcock, Marco Botti, Hugo Palmer, Richard Spencer, Ed Dunlop, George Scott, Stuart Williams, Phil McEntee, Rae Guest, George Boughey, and Charlie Fellowes.
Godolphin Lifetime Care will also take part in this year’s Open Weekend and will open the doors to Godolphin’s yard at Craven House on Newmarket’s Hamilton Road from 9am to 12.30pm. Various ex-racehorses available to view including Dubai World Cup winners African Story and Prince Bishop, and Ascot Gold Cup winners Colour Vision and Papineau.
Visit thehenrycecilopenweekend.co.uk for full ticket pricings, a schedule of events, and more information.
On Saturday, Peter O’Sullevan House, the recently opened state-of-the-art Injured Jockeys Fund’s rehabilitation and fitness Centre, will also be opening its doors from 9am to 1pm. It is located next to the British Racing School,and includes physio treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, and a gym. Two gym demonstrations will take place at 9:30am and 11am.
Sunday starts earlyon Warren Hill gallopswhere fans can watch superstars, including Enable and Stradivarius,put through their paces between 8am – 9am. There will also be the inaugural Blandford Bloodstock trainers hacks' race, a 5f dash up the grass at 8:45am.
Also on Sunday between 11am and 1pm Longholes, a thoroughbred rehabilitation and pre-training centre will be offering tours. |It will bedemonstrating the use of some of its state-of -the-art equipment which include a hydro barn, salt water room, Aqua Icelandic water treadmill, two ECB hydra spas and much more. Visitors will only be able to access Longholesvia its complimentary bus, which will leave the Severals car park approximately 15 minutes prior to each of the tours which are at 11am, 11.40am, and 12.20pm.
Sunday afternoon entertainment will take place in the main arena on the Severals and will feature the Waitrose Stable Staff Tug of War Games, Martin Collins Pony Club Games, Clipper Logistics Racing Personality Show Jumping, Fun Dog Show and Terrier Racing.
Celebrity competitors in the show jumping include top jockeys Andrea Atzeni, Josephine Gordon, Harry Bentley, last year’s winner Ryan Moore, and 2019 Champion Jockey elect Oisin Murphy. Other notable competitors include ITV Racing presenter Francesca Cumani, plus trainers George Scott and Amy Murphy.
Access and tours will also be available to the Newmarket Equine Hospital, British Racing School,Tattersalls bloodstock auctioneers, the National Stud, Jockey Club Rooms, and Palace House – the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.
This year’s open weekend has been re-named to celebrate the life of the late, great Sir Henry Cecil. The three-year partnership, backed by a group of his previous owners, is committed to supporting the development and welfare of young people working in the racing industry. Beneficiaries are Racing Welfare, Racing Centre, British Racing School.
Prices start at £17 per person for a Sunday wristband and can be purchased during the weekend at all equine sites, car parks, and yards. Children aged 12 years of age and under go free all weekend.
More by this authorAlison Hayes