Monthly Archives

June 2017

Stars Confirmed For The UK’s First Floating Festivals In 2018

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The fabulous and flamboyant pop music of the 1980s and headline performances from Stars of the West End and Broadway will be celebrated with two new cruises in 2018.

The new entertainment concept of Floating Festivals is the brainchild of Jonathan Blackburn, supported by a unique partnership with Royal Caribbean and leading live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor to launch two brand new cruises aboard the Navigator of the Seas.

Floating Festivals will launch in October 2018 with two themed cruises setting sail from Southampton – Throwback and Stages.

Packages priced from just £484 go on sale today from

Throwback is a party-fuelled three-night roundtrip cruise Southampton/Southampton including a full day stop in Bruges, celebrating all things 80s and will feature a line-up of chart-topping legends from the decade including headliners The Human League, OMD and Erasure’s Andy Bell, along with Jason Donovan, Sonia and Imagination featuring Errol Kennedy, while Captain Sensible will be helping steer the ship back to the 80s.

Stages is a luxurious four-night roundtrip cruise Southampton/Southampton, including a full day stop in Amsterdam. Stages will feature an incredible array of West End and Broadway stars including the nation’s favourite, two time Olivier Award winning, musical theatre star Michael Ball, the world’s most successful musical theatre group Collabro, and the divine Beverley Knight star of The Bodyguard, and Cats.

Thrill to the voices of Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wicked), John Owen-Jones (Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera) and Sophie Evans (The Wizard of Oz, Wicked).

Be amazed by the vocal dexterity of two-time Drama Desk Award Nominated actress and diva impressionist Christina Bianco, and delight in a truly unique performance from the Olivier Award-winning West End production, Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.

Unlike other chartered cruises, Floating Festivals will not just replace the usual cruise ship entertainment programme, they will transform the ship into a full Festival at Sea.

As well as a packed programme of live entertainment and shows, passengers on both cruises will be invited to take part in a myriad of experiences with abundant opportunities to meet both stars of the stage and pop charts.

Jonathan Blackburn, one of the key innovators behind Floating Festivals, said: “We are all absolutely thrilled to be working together to launch the UK’s first ever Floating Festivals experience.

“Both cruises offer something completely different and whether you are a fan of musical theatre or you fancy throwing yourself back to the heady days of 80s pop, we are confident both will be very popular.

“These are not just cruises with a theme, these are festivals at sea. The moment the passenger enters the cruise terminal at Southampton they will start to revel in an experience of which they will be a vital part for the duration of the cruise.

“We don’t want to give too many secrets away but I think it’s fair to say the guests are going to have a few surprises along the way.

“We want our passengers to experience both Throwback and Stages in the most magnificent way. We have a fantastic array of stars and performers for both cruises as well as many special features which will really make both these cruises a truly unforgettable experience.”

As well as being part of the UK’s first ever Floating Festivals passengers will be able to enjoy all the amazing features of the Navigator of the Seas including a 9-hole miniature golf course and separate Golf Simulator, the unique FlowRider surf simulator, the signature Royal Caribbean Rock Wall, ground-breaking virtual balcony cabins, the Vegas style Casino Royale, luxurious Vitality Spa & Fitness Centre, three pools, six whirlpools, Video Arcade and a selection of luxury Boutique Shopping experiences.

Jonathan added: “The Navigator of the Seas is a beautiful ship and while we look forward to seeing passengers having an absolute ball with all the entertainment and shows, they will also be able to sit back, relax and enjoy all the fantastic attractions included on this wonderful ship.”

All Floating Festivals packages also include complimentary à la carte restaurant and buffet dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Speciality restaurants are also available for an additional charge.

The Throwback cruise will depart Southampton for three nights from 12 October 2018 and includes a full day in Bruges (from Zeebrugge).

The Stages cruise will depart Southampton for four nights from 15 October 2018 and includes a full day in Amsterdam.


For more details and ticket information go to

Aftershow Party Plans Unveiled for Lytham Festival

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Lytham Festival fans will be able to extend to their nights out this summer as plans are unveiled for TWO official Aftershow parties.

On Friday August 4 DJ Rusty Egan will present Welcome to the Dancefloor, while on Saturday August 5, Rusty returns with The Blitz Club with special guest Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet.

Both Aftershow parties are being held at Lowther Pavilion and tickets costing from £17.50 go on sale at 10am Friday and are available from and Lowther Pavilion on 01253 794221.

Welcome to the Dancefloor will follow THE party night of the year when Lytham Festival presents 80s V 90s, this year featuring performances from The Human League, Midge Ure, Dodgy and many more.

The Blitz Club will follow Saturday night’s Madness gig in the Main Proms Arena. Steve Norman, founding member of Spandau Ballet and a musician who helped shape the 80s, is special guest on the night and will perform live saxophone and percussion to accompany Rusty’s set of dance, soul, 80’s, 90’s Funk and House music.

Speaking about the two Aftershow parties Rusty said: “I can’t wait to bring these two nights of great music to Lytham Festival for the Official Aftershow Party for the first time.

“Looking forward to Welcoming you to the Dancefloor.”

Rusty Egan is one of the most influential DJ’s of modern times and is often cited as the pioneer of electronic dance music in the UK.

A passionate musician who made his name in the late 1970’s as a drummer for the British new-wave band The Rich Kids with Glen Matlock formerly of the Sex Pistols and Midge Ure on lead guitar and vocals. Rusty enjoyed considerable success with Midge in Visage, fronted by Steve Strange, including the worldwide hit Fade to Grey.

Rusty came to prominence as a DJ at the Blitz Club (1979-1980), where he introduced German Electronica to the British scene, and as a musical innovator he sought fresh influences in Paris, Berlin, Düsseldorf and New York.

It was also at the Blitz Club in 1979 that Rusty met Steve Norman when Spandau Ballet were the House Band. This was the place that Steve Strange, Midge Ure, Boy George, Sade, George Michael, David Bowie and other personalities of the New Romantic scene partied.

Multi-talented Steve is a guitarist, saxophonist, percussionist, songwriter, vocals and founding member of Spandau Ballet, and went on to enjoy world-wide success having 23 hit singles and more than 25 million record sales.

Their most recent world tour in 2015 sold out.

In the early 90’s Steve moved to Ibiza and discovered his love for club and dance music. Since then Steve has performed with DJ’s at selected events and parties around the world and is currently working on a new solo album and upcoming tour.

Steve added: “I am really excited to be performing at Lytham Festival on Saturday 5 August as I’ve always had a fantastic time in Lytham and love the place.

“It’s a great line up for the week and I will be coming up for a few days to enjoy the festival as a few of my good mates are on the bill.

“Roll on Lytham Festival. Hope to see you there.”

The Aftershow Parties will be held from 10.30pm – 1am. More details  or Lowther Pavilion on 01253 794221.

80s DJ & TV Star to Warm Up Lytham Festival Crowds

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80s DJ and TV star Pat Sharp will be warming up the crowds at this year’s 80s V 90s night at Lytham Festival.

The former Radio 1 star and FunHouse host will be mixing up tracks on the decks as he prepares festival-goers for Lytham’s party night of the year on Friday August 4.

80s V 90s is always one of the most popular nights at Lytham Festival regularly drawing in crowds of more than 10,000 people who want to rock with their favourite stars of the two decades.

And 2017 will be no different as Pat leads the way to create a fun-filled atmosphere ahead of performances from electronic new wave band The Human League, Scots singer-songwriter Midge Ure, 90s pop rock trio Dodgy, 80s bands Johnny Hates Jazz and Living in a Box featuring Kenny Thomas, Belgian electronic musicians Technotronic, British-Norwegian 90s pop group A1 and pop rap artist Betty Boo.

Tickets are on sale now from

Speaking about his Lytham date, Pat said: “What a dilemma for me 80s V 90s! Both special decades for me with my broadcast career kicking off in ’82 at Radio 1 and then a decade on air at Capital FM London, closely followed by hosting FunHouse running as the #1 kid’s show on telly throughout the whole of the 90s

“I can’t wait to be the compere and DJ on this event at such a beautiful setting by the seaside and see which decade comes out on top. Join me and let’s re-run the fun together!”

Pat presented his first daytime show 35 years ago for Radio 1. After a year on air and numerous Top of the Pops appearances, Pat then went on to host mid-mornings at Capital FM for a decade. Along the way, he picked up a gold Sony award while also notching up seven hit singles and raising more than £300,000 for charity as part of the infamous Stock Aitken and Waterman duo Pat and Mick.

Pat then moved to Heart London and has continued to broadcast radio shows ever since.

No stranger on our TV screens too, Pat was the host of ITV’s cult rated FunHouse for 12 years and has appeared on numerous TV reality and quiz shows.

Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor said Pat is a great addition to the 80s V 90s line-up.

Peter said: “Pat Sharp immediately springs to mind when you think of the 80s, partying and DJs so it makes absolute sense to add him to the 80s V 90s night at Lytham Festival.

“Who better to build the ultimate party atmosphere ahead of our fantastic show headliners.

“This night is always a really fun night at Lytham. The arena is flooded with people in fancy dress and who just want to have a really great night out. I have no doubt Pat is going to really get the party going ensuring that yet again, 80s V 90s at Lytham Festival is the party night of the year.”

Tickets for Lytham Festival are on sale now priced from £35 and are available from or by calling 0844 8154874.

Limited VIP tickets are still available

More details  

Carlisle Racecourse To Honour Cumbria’s Most Amazing Lady

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Carlisle Racecourse is delighted to team up with the News & Star in the search to find and celebrate North and West Cumbria’s Most Amazing and Inspirational Lady.

On August 7 Cumbria’s premier racecourse hosts its #AmazingMonday race meeting – Carlisle’s most gloriously stylish sporting event of the year.

Along with the high fashion and fun in the paddock – which this year features a post-race party hosted by Radio 2’s Jo Whiley – the day is the world’s only all-female jockey race meeting.

#AmazingMonday famously honours inspirational women in sport so this year the Racecourse wants to celebrate the achievements of an Amazing and Inspirational local lady… by naming a race in her honour!

This special female could be an unsung hero, a volunteer, a carer, someone who goes the extra mile for their loved ones and community, a youngster who has overcome the odds or whose dedication has seen them reach the top of their sport – in short, someone whose Amazing acts Inspire others.

We want to hear from you about the many inspirational things done by ladies young and old in North and West Cumbria. So please let us know by nominating these Amazing Ladies.

A panel of judges – made up of Carlisle Racecourse General Manager Geraldine McKay, Olympic Gold Medallist and #AmazingMonday ambassador Sam Quek and the News & Star – will pick one special lady to have a race named in her honour.

Sam Quek – #AmazingMonday Ambassador

Geraldine said: “We are very proud of #AmazingMonday – the world’s only all-female jockey race meeting when all eyes will be on Carlisle. The meeting celebrates the many inspirational women in our sport from jockeys and trainers, to owners.

“We know that here in Cumbria there are many wonderful and inspirational women and girls whose amazing actions and feats deserve to be celebrated and shouted from the rooftops.

“So, we are delighted to team up with the News & Star to find a local inspirational lady – be they four or 104-years-old – and name a race in their honour. We can’t wait to see the nominations!”

Together with the race being named in their honour, the Amazing and Inspirational Lady will be treated to a VIP Day at the races with three guests.

Sam Quek, who won gold with the GB hockey team at Rio 2016, said: “I am delighted to be involved in the search for an Amazing and Inspirational Lady to be honoured in this special way at Carlisle Racecourse’s #AmazingMonday.

“I have had the pleasure to meet so many inspirational women in my life and it is only right such people and their achievements should be celebrated.

“I’m sure there are so many women and girls in Cumbria who deserve to have a race named in their honour as well as enjoying a VIP day at the races. I cannot wait to hear their amazing stories.”

To nominate an Amazing and Inspirational lady click here



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Michael Ball and Alfie Boe are ready for a ‘magical’ summer as they bring their stunning live show to some of the UK’s most beautiful and unique outdoor venues.

Michael, the nation’s favourite musical theatre star, and Alfie, the UK’s most beloved tenor, will this weekend begin a seven-date open air summer tour – starting on Sunday June 18 at Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire.

They follow this with dates at Walcot Hall, Shropshire (June 20); Stansted Park, Hampshire (June 21); Euston Hall, Suffolk (June 24); Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire (June 25); Scarborough Open Air Theatre, North Yorkshire (June 28) and The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich (June 30).

Following the stunning success of their Number One, double platinum-selling album Together – and 29 sold-out theatre shows across the UK in 2016 – Michael and Alfie today announced they will release a follow up album later this year on Decca.

Michael and Alfie say they cannot wait to take their show into the great outdoors this summer.

Michael said: “We are so excited about this tour. There is something magical about being in the open air when you sing.

“There is an atmosphere when the sun goes down, the lights come up on the stage and you are in a place where the music disappears into the ether. It’s a truly unique and special experience.”

Alfie added: “The reaction to our theatre tour last year was brilliant. The audiences were fantastic, all the nights were special and so we are really looking forward to these open-air dates.

“When we perform together something just clicks, it works. We are great friends both on and off the stage and I think that comes across. When you are comfortable performing with someone, as myself and Michael are together, then I think that comes out in the performance and makes these nights truly memorable.

“We’ve added a few things from the theatre tour, a few surprises to the set, and we really hope the audiences like them. We think they will.”

Having first met in 2006, while performing in Kismet with the English National Opera, Michael and Alfie have become lifelong friends.

That same year Michael made history as the first musical theatre star to be given a solo concert at the Royal Albert Hall’s BBC Proms, and asked Alfie Boe to join him to perform at the classical music festival.

This instant personal connection and professional mutual admiration makes for the perfect pairing and, to the delight of their hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe.

Michael and Alfie, this week, took a short break from tour rehearsals to head to Alfie’s hometown of Fleetwood, Lancashire, where the tenor received a special honour – a plaque unveiled at the theatre where he made his first stage appearance at the age of 14 in 1987.

Alfie joined the likes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and George Michael to be honoured with one of 47 special blue plaques, all unveiled as part of BBC’s Music Day, which recognised pioneering musicians and music venues around the UK.

On unveiling his plaque at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall, Alfie said: “Amazing isn’t a big enough word to describe this honour.

“You walk past so many blue plaques on buildings and you never suspect you’re going to be one of them one day. I’m just blown away by it, I really am.

“To be in Fleetwood, my hometown, with my family and so many people who mean so much to me and have helped and followed my career, was so very, very special. It’s a day I will never forget.”

Michael added: “Alfie is one of the nicest guys who is so proud of Fleetwood, his northern roots and where he comes from. I am so very happy to call him my friend. I am thrilled to bits the BBC and the voters who voted for him have given him this honour – he blooming well deserves it!”

Tickets for Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s outdoor concerts this June are available from


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An historic Shropshire hall is gearing up for two diamond shows which will mark a special anniversary.

It’s 60 years since Georgian country house Walcot Hall at Lydbury North came into the ownership of the Parish family. And this month the leading wedding and holiday cottage venue is hosting its first back-to-back outdoor concerts in its spectacular grounds.

On Tuesday June 20 musical favourites Michael Ball and Alfie Boe will be the star attractions, with Sir Cliff Richard taking the spotlight the following evening on Wednesday June 21.

Tickets are available now from and

The double date marks a first for the hall with its 350 acres of farm and woodland set to be filled with the sounds of some of the world’s biggest music names.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have enjoyed stunning success with their Platinum selling album Together. After 29 sold out shows in 2016 the musical theatre star and tenor are returning for a series of prestigious outdoor concerts.

Cliff, the UK’s number one hit-maker, is showcasing his new album Just…Fabulous Rock’n’Roll. The singer has returned to his roots to record favourites from the golden era of Rock’n’Roll including Roll Over Beethoven, Great Balls of Fire and a duet of Blue Suede Shoes with fellow idol Elvis Presley.

Getting ready to welcome the music icons and their legions of fans is making for an exciting time for the Parish family.

Lucinda Parish, whose father-in-law moved to the hall in 1957, just one year before Cliff’s debut single Move It, said: “When people found out who was coming they just could not believe it. There’s been great excitement locally, everyone’s coming and we think it will be fabulous.

“It’s very good for rural Shropshire that these things are happening and they’re not just for big cities.”

Thousands of fans will be at both fully-seated concerts and it has meant some re-organisation at the hall, once owned by Clive of India.

Much of the grazing land is let to farmers, so they’ll be moving stock out for the duration. And such is the hall’s popularity as a wedding venue, it has ceremonies booked both the weekend before and after the midweek events.

Lucinda added: “Our wedding parties have exclusive use of the venue and we had to make sure the build of the stage doesn’t interfere with that but everyone has been very accommodating.”

Speaking recently about the Walcot Hall date, Cliff said: “We are all looking forward to a fabulous few weeks of Rock’n’Roll and I am especially pleased to be heading to historic Walcot Hall.

“I believe this is the first time there has ever been a Rock’n’Roll concert in the grounds of this beautiful country estate so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The concert is presented by North West-based concert promoters Cuffe and Taylor.

Director Peter Taylor said: “We cannot wait for this show – it is going to be amazing.

“Walcot Hall is such a fabulous place, a wonderful setting. Music fans are in for a real treat, both in terms of the fantastic shows on stage by Cliff Richard, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, and by visiting this fantastic country estate. These are going to be concerts that will live long in the memory.”

Walcot Hall tickets for Michael Ball and Alfie Boe on June 20 and Cliff Richard on June 21 are available now from and  or by calling 0844 844 0444.


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Legendary soul pop group The Jacksons are ready to give their fans a memorable night at Scarborough Open Air Theatre as they celebrate 50 incredible hit-making years.

The Jacksons have sold more than 200 million records including the worldwide smash hits I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There.

And the Motown greats will bring all their hits to Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Saturday June 17 for an amazing concert at Europe’s largest open air theatre.

Marlon Jackson says he and brothers Tito, Jermaine and Jackie cannot wait to take to the stage on the beautiful Yorkshire coast – the opening date of their summer UK tour.

Marlon said: “The UK has always been great to us, we always look forward to coming and performing there. The fans are great and they know their music.

“We’ve never had the chance to get out into some of the rural areas of the UK so we are really looking forward to coming to Scarborough.

“We’ve always strived to give 200%, to give our fans our best. This will be an energetic show with as many of our hits as we can fit within a 90-minute show.”

Tito added: “We’re excited to bring our show to Scarborough this summer. The British audiences love their music and we can’t wait to share ours with them.”

As for The Jacksons’ enduring popularity over all these years, Marlon says their music continues to appeal to all ages.

He said: “This year we are celebrating our anniversary as a group. I think the music we recorded in the late 60s and early 70s was designed for a certain demography (kids from 10 to 14) that no other group was targeting. We were young kids and the music was family oriented, feel good music that happened to be appeal to all ages.”

And when it comes to picking his favourite live track, Marlon added: “From each brother you may get a different answer, but for me it’s Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground). It’s a song that gets the crowd going and takes them to another level of excitement.”

Signing their first record deal in 1967, The Jacksons, with the late Michael Jackson, made history in 1970 as the first recording act whose first four singles reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Building a reputation for their combination of music and brilliant choreography, they went on to score 17 Top 40 singles on the Hot 100 – together with 22 UK Top 40 singles – including  Never Can Say Goodbye, Show You The Way To Go, The Love You Save and Dancing Machine.

Following the group’s massive success in the 1970s, they spent the 1980s and 90s concentrating on successful solo careers. They reformed for a series of concerts in 2001 and have packed theatres and arenas around the world ever since.

The Jacksons join Tom Jones, Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Olly Murs, Madness, Cliff Richard, UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey Virtue, George Benson, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, 80s v 90s night and The Charlatans among the star-studded headliners at Scarborough OAT in 2017.

Tickets for The Jacksons at Scarborough OAT are available (0844 844 0444) and or in person from Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office (01723 818111) and the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau (01723 383636).

‘Vote Racing’ As Championship Frontrunners Go Head-to-Head At Carlisle

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As the nation gets ready to vote in a new government, Carlisle’s opening night meeting of the 2017 flat season sets up its own not-to-be-missed dash for the winning line between the leaders of this year’s Trainers’ Championship.

There is not the width of a ballot paper to separate Richard Fahey and Mark Johnston right now. And the North Yorkshire trainers go head-to-head at Carlisle on Thursday night.

Fahey – with 73 winners – has six mounts in the seven-race field, including Wirral Girl in the 6.10 and Tanaya, Ajwan and Foxxy Brown all in the 6.40.

Johnston – one behind Fahey with 72 winners – has five entries, the picks being the heavily fancied Faithful Promise, fresh from his win at Musselburgh last month, and Izzy Bizu, a winner on May 11 at Catterick.

Thursday night is the first of two meetings at Carlisle this week as racing returns the following afternoon. #FeelGoodFriday sees another seven cracking races plus post-race entertainment coming from Cumbria’s top party band Room 101.

Geraldine McKay, Carlisle Racecourse’s General Manager, said: “We have two great days of racing lined up this week. The fact both the frontrunners in the Trainers’ Championship are here with multiple entries on Thursday is great for racing fans.

“Of course, Thursday night’s meeting falls on the day of a General Election and we are calling on race fans everywhere, after they have voted, to come and enjoy a night at the races.

“Our wonderful race day announcer Gordon Brown has even filmed a special non-party political election broadcast (click here download) highlighting we have seven winners to crown here… long before the first General Election result is in!

“We have also cut adult admission prices to £10 when pre-booked –  a saving of almost 40% – so we hope to see as many racing fans and first timers here on Thursday night.

“On Friday we have our first #FeelGoodFriday meeting of the year. Following an afternoon of great racing there is live post-race entertainment with the fantastic Room 101. It will be brilliant to see you here!”

Elsewhere in the field on Thursday, and with eyes turning towards #AmazingMonday on August 7 – when Carlisle hosts the world’s only all-female jockey race day – Rachel Richardson will look to add to her three winners this season.

Richardson, who won on board Copper Knight at York on May 27, has two rides with Tim Easterby’s Silver Starlight in the 6.10 and Popsie’s Joy in the 9.20.

And now just three weeks’ away from Carlisle’s most famous flat meeting of the year – The Carlisle Bell and Cumberland Plate – last year’s Bell-winning trainer Keith Dalgleish has six runners.

To take advantage of Thursday’s special £10 entry offer pre-book tickets at and enter the code FESTIVAL10
Non pre-booked admission at the gates is £17. Under-17s get in free when accompanied by an adult. Gates open 4pm. First race 6pm, last race 9.10pm.

Tickets for Friday’s meeting are £14 (in advance) or £17 (on the day). Under-17s get in free when accompanied by an adult. Gates open 12.10pm. First race 2.10pm, last race 5.10pm. Live music from Room 101 begins after the final race. 


Jockey Club North West Offers £20,000 Development Award for Female Jockeys

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Jockey Club Racecourses North West (JCRNW) are delighted to announce the £20,000 development award for female jockeys will return for a second year, with local Olympic Gold Medallist, Sam Quek supporting the award as the JCRNW ambassador.

Last year saw the inauguration of the development award, a £20,000 prize designed to provide an opportunity for personal development and professional support for female jockeys in their racing career. Emma Sayer successfully won the award in 2016 in a nail-biting finish against Rachel Richardson, who was also in the running for the life changing prize.

This year, the unique award will be presented to a lady jockey who rides a winner at Carlisle’s #AmazingMonday fixture on Monday 7th August and then goes on to win the Betfred Ladies’ Trophy Handicap Stakes at Haydock Park on Saturday 12th August.

Emma Sayer, winner of the 2016 award, said “The development award is a great initiative put on by Jockey Club Racecourses North West. It’s fantastic to see racecourses supporting both amateur and professional jockeys. Crossing the finish line was such a surreal feeling – I’ve never saluted when passing the Winning Post before, the adrenaline I had was a moment I’ll never forget!

“It would be fabulous to see another jockey win the award as it provides invaluable support to females within the sport. For me, it has allowed me to buy a mechanical horse to prep for races, racing equipment and I am going to undertake trainer’s modules soon.”

Sam Quek MBE was part of the successful Great Britain Hockey Team who won Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has been newly appointed as the JCRNW ambassador. Sam has a passion for promoting women in sport and encouraging young girls to take part in hockey and sport in general.

“It’s fantastic to be an ambassador for JCRNW and an honour to be asked to support such a great initiative. Being a sportswoman myself, I know how beneficial and unique this opportunity to a female jockey is, and, an award that could open many doors to young lady riders.

“I am really looking forward to supporting Carlisle’s #AmazingMonday this summer.”

The development award and the new female-only Ladies Trophy at Haydock are two new exciting initiatives by Jockey Club Racecourses NW to raise the profile of women in racing and which will complement the esteemed female-only raceday at Carlisle Racecourse in August.

Carlisle Racecourse hosts one of the most unique racing fixtures, the world’s only raceday exclusive for female jockeys competing for the Durdar Trophy. Now in its seventh year, this fixture has been at the forefront of promoting women in racing and the new initiatives from Jockey Club Racecourses North West will suitably compliment #AmazingMonday at the well-loved Cumbrian racecourse.

John Baker, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses North West, said: “Jockey Club Racecourses North West is dedicated to supporting and promoting enhancing women in sport and business and we’re excited to provide this opportunity to a highly talented jockey for the second consecutive year.

“Carlisle has been at the forefront of supporting female jockeys with its superb #AmazingMonday fixture, the only raceday in the World that has a female jockeys-only card, and we’re delighted to host one of the richest ladies races at Haydock Park with £20,000 up for grabs in the Betfred Ladies’ Trophy Handicap Stakes.

“We look forward to seeing female jockeys compete for the unique £20,000 development prize this summer and hope the award is a great step forward to supporting someone’s career in racing.”

Carlisle and Haydock’s sister course in the North West has also hosted the successful Grand Women Summit on Grand National Ladies Day at Aintree for the past three years working with Ladies Day Ambassador Katie Walsh, and have worked closely with Women in Racing during a two year partnership to support females in our sport.

For tickets and information for Carlisle’s #AmazingMonday and Haydock Park’s Betfred Rose of Lancaster racedays, please go to and, respectively.

Video about the 2017 £20,000 Development Award available to download here.



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Indie legends The Charlatans have announced one of the UK’s most exciting new bands will open their headline show at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on June 16.

If ever there was a band to currently embody the sheer tenacity of Manchester, it would be The Slow Readers Club. Having risen through their city’s ranks, the four-piece have rapidly gone from a best kept secret to one of its proudest exports.

Following a 2016 that saw the band support James on a UK arena tour and sell out their own headline show at Manchester’s 1,500 capacity Ritz venue months in advance, this year has seen The Slow Readers Club build on a reputation spread by social media and word of mouth alone.

Having recently completed a Spring tour to sold out crowds up and down the country, the band are now looking ahead to a festival packed summer, including a Mainstage slot at Isle Of Wight Festival alongside Arcade Fire and Catfish and The Bottlemen.

And now The Slow Readers Club will open the show for The Charlatans at Scarborough OAT on June 16th. Tickets are on sale now from

The Scarborough OAT concert is presented by promoters Cuffe and Taylor. Director Peter Taylor said: “We are delighted to once again be bringing not only major acts such as The Charlatans to Scarborough OAT but also some of the most exciting new music around.

“The Charlatans have just released their sensational new album Different Days and we cannot wait to hear the new tracks alongside the classics.

“And in The Slow Readers Club we believe we have the perfect opening act to make this a not to be missed night for indie music fans everywhere.”

For more than 25 years, The Charlatans have been an inspirational force in British music chalking up such stunning hit singles The Only One I Know, Weirdo, Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over, One to Another, How High, North Country Boy and 2015’s stunning Come Home Baby.

The band’s new album Different Days – which boasts the single Plastic Machinery – continues to receive rave reviews following its release last week.

Ahead of their June 16 appearance at Scarborough, The Charlatans lead singer Tim Burgess said: “We have played some truly memorable gigs in Yorkshire down the years and we expect another unforgettable night in Scarborough next summer.

“Yorkshire crowds have always been among our warmest and loudest supporters and we cannot wait to play for them again.”

For tickets for The Charlatans at Scarborough OAT go to or You can also purchase them in person at Scarborough Open Air Theatre Box Office or calling (0844 844 0444 ) and from the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Bureau (01723 383636).

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