Newbury Racecourse's Flat season ends on a military note - and marks two centenaries
Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday returns on Saturday 27 October 2018 at Newbury Racecourse. In keeping with the 100-year anniversary of the end of the first World War and 100 years of the RAF, the day will be filled with military activity and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
Once again, Newbury will be offering free entry for all members of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence and Royal British Legion - booked in advance.
As is now the custom, one of the highlights of the afternoon will be the launch of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal for West Berkshire and Vale of White Horse, which this year will see the delivery of the ceremonial poppy by a Scout Helicopter from the Historic Aircraft Flight team ahead of racing accompanied by the band of the 7 Rifles.
The Racecourse itself played a role in both World Wars, most notably when it was requisitioned by the War Office in August 1914 for use as a training ground and internment camp training ground. Civilians from enemy nations, known as “aliens”, were billeted in the stables alongside wounded German officers. It was used again during the Second World War as a training ground and prisoner of war camp.
Local secondary schools have been busy compiling art displays for the occasion which can be found on the first floor of the main Grandstand and where all racegoers will have the opportunity to take part in an art workshop to paint their own poppy canvas - courtesy of Brush Party.
The return of Homefront History will see vehicles and volunteers who will be taking part in re-enactments and tableaus dressed in vintage uniforms and provide racegoers with an insight into what life in the Armed Forces has been like throughout the years.
The Royal Engineer, Royal Navy and Household Cavalry will also be on hand to talk to racegoers with the band of the 7 Rifles rounding off the afternoon with a sing-along in the Grandstand Enclosure.
Harriet Collins is Head of Communications at Newbury Racecourse: “Armed Forces Raceday has become increasingly popular since it was first introduced back in 2008 and is now a brilliant finale to the flat season here."
"Not only is it a great opportunity to appreciate the efforts of our Armed Forces personnel and support the work of the Royal British Legion, it’s a great afternoon for all the family to enjoy. With 2018 marking 100 years since the end of the first World War and the Racecourse’s use as a Prisoner of War camp in 1914, we will be marking the occasion throughout the afternoon.”
The highlights of the seven-race card which brings the curtain down on the Flat season are the two Group 3 contests: The Teddington Royal British Legion Stakes (Registered as the St Simon Stakes) and The Molson Coors Stakes (Registered as the Horris Hill Stakes).
Gates open at 11am with the first race at 1.40pm and the last race at 5.05pm. Premier Enclosure tickets are £33, Grandstand enclosure tickets are £23. Under 18’s go FREE.
Free Premier Enclosure tickets for Armed Forces Personnel past and present must be booked in advance on 01635 40015 (Maximum of two allocated per Military ID number/MOD Civil Service ID Card/RBL Member).