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July 2017

Jo Whiley Ready To Lead The ‘Party In The Paddock’ on #AmazingMonday

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Radio star Jo Whiley says she cannot wait to head to Cumbria to host Carlisle Racecourse’s special ‘Party In The Paddock’ on #AmazingMonday.

Broadcaster and BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo will perform a not-to-be-missed post-race DJ set as part of the racecourse’s annual Ladies Day event which takes place on Monday August 7.

#AmazingMonday is the UK’s only all-female jockey race meeting as Cumbria’s premier racecourse once again celebrates and promotes women in racing.

On top of a day of top quality flat racing on the track, the event is an ever-popular fixture in Cumbria’s social calendar oozing style, glamour and fun.

Jo said: “I really love playing at racecourses, the people there are really up for a party. Whether the racegoers are celebrating or commiserating, they are in the best of moods and ready to dance – it’s a real party atmosphere.

“I love looking out at a sea of people having a good time. All the girls are dressed in their amazing outfits, carrying their heels, and just having a great time.

“My set is packed full of great tunes, a real range of music from The Killers to Abba, and I throw a bit of Beyonce and Chic in there together with Frank Sinatra. The one song which really gets everyone on their feet and dancing… that has to be House of Pain’s dancefloor classic Jump Around!”

Now in its seventh year, #AmazingMonday is at the forefront of promoting women in racing. 2016 saw the introduction of the Jockey Club North West Development Award for female jockeys.

This unique £20,000 award is presented to the jockey who rides a winner on #AmazingMonday and then goes on to win the Betfred Ladies’ Trophy Handicap Stakes at Haydock Park on Saturday August 12.

Jo, who will be Dj-ing at both Carlisle and Haydock Park, added: “I love the North West, I’ve been there countless times over the years.

“I was at the One Love concert in Manchester recently which, of course, was an incredible event. The music that has come from that part of the world has been in my life forever from New Order to the Happy Mondays and Oasis. I love going to gigs, and to the Hacienda back in the day, so I can’t wait to get back up there for these two events.”

As for horse racing and the Jockey Club’s celebration and promotion of female jockeys, Jo, who was first introduced to the sport by her father, is a big fan.

The DJ, who has championed countless young female music acts in her career, said: “I think in any walk of life it is essential that we shout up about talent whether that is in music, racing, anything.

“It’s fantastic Jockey Club NW is doing this for up and coming jockeys and hopefully it can really help them achieve their dreams in the sport.

“I’m a great believer that if you have a talent, whether you are male or female, you should be given every opportunity to reach your full potential.”

Last year, Cumbria’s own Emma Sayer secured the £20,000 Development Award prize which provides an opportunity for personal development to support individual requirements for female jockeys. This could take the form of extra tuition or course fees, and will be dictated by the winning jockey.

Geraldine McKay, Carlisle Racecourse’s General Manager, said #AmazingMonday was shaping up to be another fantastic day.

And she said Jo Whiley was the perfect choice to lead the post-race party after a day of top quality racing.

Geraldine said: “We love #AmazingMonday, it’s one of the highlights of our race calendar both in terms of the action on the track and the atmosphere in the stands and around the course.

“We are very proud to host the world’s first ever all-female race day, still the UK’s only such day, and we hope another young jockey will go and win the Development Award which can make such a difference to their career.

“And, of course, we are delighted Jo Whiley will be the star of our Party In The Paddock. Jo is not only one of our top national broadcasters, but a true champion of women in music.

“Given the ethos of #AmazingMonday, which is to celebrate, empower and promote women in racing, Jo is the perfect choice.

“It should be a great day both on and off the track and an event not to be missed.”

Gates open on #AmazingMonday at Carlisle Racecourse at Opens 2.30pm on August 7. First race is 5.30pm, last race 8.30pm. To buy tickets call 0344 579 3002 or go online at

Following #Amazing Monday there will be afternoon flat racing on Wednesday August 23 followed by evening racing on Tuesday August 29.

Top Olly Murs’ Prizes Up For Grabs

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Pop star Olly Murs is being made more accessible to music lovers in a partnership between Lytham Festival and Madame Tussauds Blackpool.

In a move sure to please fans of the Unpredictable star, a variety of prizes will be hidden in the Festival Fields feature at Madame Tussauds Blackpool from Monday July 24th – Friday 28.

The prizes will include two complimentary tickets to Olly Murs at Lytham Festival on Wednesday August 2, a VIP Garden upgrade for two at the concert, six family tickets to Madame Tussauds Blackpool with a complimentary drink in the Rovers Return, signed Olly Murs merchandise, a Lytham Festival Backstage Tour and access for four people to the LF:TV (Lytham Festival TV) studio on the night of Olly Murs to watch the concert from there.

And to be in with a chance of winning, all anyone needs do is visit Madame Tussauds Blackpool from July 24 – 28 and hunt for the prizes.

As well as being the first main headline act at Lytham Festival 2017 on Wednesday August 2, Olly has been a permanent fixture at Madame Tussauds Blackpool since the popstar unveiled his waxwork there in 2015.

To celebrate the launch of the competition LF:TV presenter Ross Morgan paid a visit to Festival Fields to meet Olly Murs.

Lytham Festival Director Peter Taylor said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Madame Tussauds Blackpool this year. It is a great coincidence that they have their own Olly Murs and that we will be welcoming the real life singing one to our Festival so it makes sense to work together.

“Of course, Olly has previously performed at Lytham Festival in 2012 but to be inviting him back as a headline act is fantastic and it is set to be a great night.

“By working together with Madame Tussauds Blackpool we are able to offer Olly fans a collection of fantastic prizes so I would suggest people get to Madame Tussauds next week to be in with a chance of winning.”

Madame Tussauds General Manager Matthew Titherington added: “We are really excited to partner up with Lytham Festival this year to celebrate our shared love for Olly Murs.

“Olly is one of our most popular wax figures and commands a number of fans every day who can’t wait to see him and get that all-important selfie.”

To purchase tickets to see Olly Murs at Lytham Festival and for all other information and tickets go to  


Line-up Lytham Festival 2017:


  • Weds August 2 – Olly Murs
  • Thurs August 3 – Hacienda Classical
  • Fri August 4 – 80s V 90s
  • Sat Aug 5 – Madness
  • Sun Aug 6 – West End Proms


  • Tues Aug 1 – Woofers Comedy Club presents Tom Binns
  • Weds Aug 2 – The Mersey Beatles 50th Anniversary Tribute to Sgt Pepper
  • Fri Aug 4 – Welcome to the Dancefloor Aftershow Party
  • Sat Aug 5 – The Blitz Club Aftershow Party

Carlisle Racecourse Adds To Its ‘Amazing’ business team line-up

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The home of the UK’s only all-women jockeys race day has added to its own top female line-up.

On August 7, Carlisle Racecourse will host #AmazingMonday – the city’s most glamourous sporting event when quality racing and the all-female card mix with Champagne bars and a special post-race DJ set from top radio personality Jo Whiley.

Away from the track, general manager Geraldine McKay has brought in two new Business Development Executives to drive the marketing of its extensive facilities to a wider audience.

Helen Mackie and Lianne Morrow have joined the team with a brief to expand further into the conferencing market, make the venue a first choice for weddings and Christmas party nights and build on its unique hospitality offers.

Both women have considerable experience in sales and marketing – and are loving being a part of the racecourse team.

Helen, 48, was previously an events manager with hotel chain Marriott, experience she is putting to good use in showing off the racecourse’s varied conference facilities.

Helen said: “I come to work and on a daily basis it takes my breath away, the racecourse is immaculate and the staff take such pride in it.

“If you don’t have a passion for what you do you won’t be able to sell it. I’m really proud to be a part of it and to work for a company that really cares about putting its money back into racing is quite something.”

Lianne, 28, has horse racing in her blood and is delighted her career which has taken in Hoopers department store, Smiths at Gretna Green Hotel and Stobart Biomass, has now led her to the racecourse.

Lianne said: “My mum and dad used to train horses – they had a couple of winners at Carlisle – and I’ve always loved horses, I still do and that was a big attraction to working here.

“I always tell people this is more than just a racecourse.”

Lianne believes the key to winning new business for the racecourse is to get potential wedding parties, business owners and party organisers to see the facilities for themselves.

She added: “When you get them to come on a site visit, they fall in love with the place. It’s great for photos and with the hospitality what we see is that people are very happy to mingle at a racing event and they’re more relaxed.”

The Jockey Club owned course can accommodate conferences both big and small hosting up to 600 delegates for formal and informal events. Last year it was the venue for a major nuclear industry conference organised by MP John Stevenson.

Geraldine McKay said: “Helen and Lianne are great assets for the racecourse as we continue to build our offer and push deeper into conferencing as well as making sure we have top quality wedding and hospitality packages.

“They’ve got great experience in sales and customer service and we are already seeing the benefits in the business.”

Carlisle’s top female line-up doesn’t end there. It is currently also hosting Jockey Club trainee general manager Molly Dingwall for six months as part of her training.

Gates open on #AmazingMonday at Carlisle Racecourse at Opens 2.30pm on August 7. First race is 5.30pm, last race 8.30pm. To buy tickets call 0344 579 3002 or go online at

Musicians & Singers Invited to Star on Festival TV channel

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Budding pop and rock stars are being offered the opportunity to perform live on Lytham Festival’s dedicated online TV channel – LF:TV.

LF:TV launched last year and attracted guests ranging from Indie god and DJ Clint Boon and uber cool guitarist Jeff Wooton, to rock bands Reverend and The Makers and The Dunwells, Country stars The Shires, popstar Jake Quickenden, 70’s pop heroes Bay City Rollers and musical theatre stars Jodie Prenger and Collabro.

And this year Festival organisers are searching for talented musicians and singers from across the Fylde who believe they could be the LF:TV house-band who will entertain both studio guests and the viewing audience.

LF:TV will be broadcast live each night from Wednesday August 2 to Sunday August 6 to coincide with all the headline acts in the Main Proms Arena which means five lucky bands and singers will be selected to perform in the purpose-built TV studio each night.

Anyone interested in being the LF:TV house-band should post a video of their band performing on the Lytham Festival Facebook page by midnight on Wednesday July 25. Those selected to perform will be contacted by Monday July 31st.

In addition, open mic sessions are also being held on Monday July 31 at the LF:TV studio where any budding solo artists and comedians are encouraged to go along to pre-record a session which will also be broadcast at some point during the Lytham Festival week. The open mic sessions will be recorded between 2-8pm on Monday July 31.

Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor said: “We always try to do something that gives up-and-coming young talent the opportunity to gain an audience.

“This year we are offering this opportunity to a lot of people and in return they get to perform on our live LF:TV.

“It is a fantastic opportunity and we look forwarded to hearing and seeing some of the amazing local talent that we know is out there.”

For more details about Lytham Festival 2017 go to

Red Rum trainer Ginger McCain’s granddaughter wins first race aged 16

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The granddaughter of Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain, who trained Red Rum to three Grand National victories, has ridden her first winner days after finishing her GCSEs.

Ella McCain was riding in her debut race on Friday night at Carlisle Racecourse. And the 16-year-old won a seven-furlong flat race on 7-1 shot Dark Confidant.

Ella told The Jockey Club: “It was brilliant. It doesn’t get much better than this, winning your first race. I’ve just done my GCSEs and this was far more enjoyable!”

Her father Donald McCain Jr, who trained 2011 National winner Ballabriggs, saw his other daughter Abbie ride her first winner earlier this month at Wolverhampton.

He said: “Both Ella and Abbie have been pony racing for a number of years. They have plenty of experience under their belts and they were always going to get races when they turned 16.

“Success and winning the big races is something we strive for and this [Ella’s win] is just hugely satisfying.”

Both Ella and Abbie are aiming to race on #AmazingMonday at Carlisle on August 7th – the world’s first only all-female jockey card of races. Victory there, then in the Betfred Ladies’ Trophy Handicap Stakes at Haydock Park five days later, can lead to a £20,000 Jockey Club development award for young female jockeys.

After her debut win, Ella added: “I was OK as far as nerves go right up until the moment I got in the car to come here and then the butterflies started.

“I’ve ridden him (Dark Confidant) for a few days at home as we’ve only just got him but he’s a really nice horse. It was his first time at this distance but I knew he would stay on.

“How will I celebrate? I think I’ll go to bed! Next up, I am looking at Catterick on Wednesday and a ride on Tawseef who is another horse I’ve ridden at home.

“Hopefully I can come back here to Carlisle and get a ride at #AmazingMonday, with dad or anyone who will give me a chance.”

It was a proud moment for Donald McCain, who saw his other daughter Abbie ride her first winner earlier this month at Wolverhampton and trains Ella’s winning horse Dark Confidant.

Donald, whose father ‘Ginger’ McCain trained Red Rum to three National wins in the 1970s and Amberleigh House to victory in the 2004 National, could not hide his joy in the winners’ enclosure.

He added: “It’s a great sport to be involved in. A couple of years ago I might have lost sight of the fact that this is the important part of what we do.

“Yes, we want to be very successful but to be working with the family is just magic.”

West End Proms Celebrates Talented Youngsters At Lytham Festival

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Lytham Festival will celebrate the talent of rising musical theatre stars as it presents this year’s glittering West End Proms finale.

It is announced today that 13-year-old Britain’s Got Talent finalist Beau Dermott (pictured below) is being added to the bill along with 25 youngsters from across the North West.

Following her spellbinding performance on Britain’s Got Talent last year, Beau – the girl with the big voice and big heart – has now signed a major deal with Decca Records to release her debut album, Brave, on August 25. She may be just 13, but Beau’s astonishing voice is already insured for £1 million pounds. It’s been insured by Lloyd’s of London to ensure her unique voice is protected, especially while she’s still at school.

Beau shot to fame when her electrifying audition on Britain’s Got Talent earned her the golden buzzer from judge Amanda Holden – now Beau’s mentor – taking her straight into the live finals. Singing ‘Defying Gravity’ from the hit musical Wicked, the YouTube clip of her performance currently has an astounding 24 million views. She’s even got the backing from Idina Menzel, the original star of Wicked, who said: “OMG!! Beau Dermott you gave me chills with your performance of Defying Gravity”.

Beau (left) will perform alongside West End and Broadway royalty as Miss Saigon star Lea Salonga, musical theatre group Collabro, Olivier Award winner Ruthie Henshall, Chicago star Claire Sweeney, 90s pop sensation turned musical theatre star Jon Lee, Blackpool musical theatre star Jodie Prenger, Lytham-born rising West End star Lucie Mae Sumner and English National Opera soprano Jo Appleby will all perform too.

Tickets are on sale now from

In addition, it is announced that 25 youngsters from across the North West will also star in West End Proms performing a couple of numbers both on their own and with one of the lead performers.

The group of 6 – 12-year olds were selected following an audition process and are being prepared for their performances by Fylde Stage Academy principle, Di Barron.

Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor said: “I am thrilled we are able to present some of the best rising talent in musical theatre with West End Proms.

“This is not just a concert, this is a complete show worthy of any West End or Broadway theatre. We are bringing together some of the world’s most talented musical theatre stars and to now welcome Beau and a group of youngsters to take part is wonderful.

“Lytham Festival is all about creating events which appeal to the masses. Each year we try to programme a festival which is wide and varied. We have done that once again this year and I am particularly pleased we are able to include so many young and extremely talented performers in that too.”

To celebrate the announcement, Lytham Festival Hub – the ticket office in the town’s Clifton Square – will be offering a very special Golden Ticket Giveaway this weekend.

One lucky customer will win two VIP tickets to see Wednesday night headliner Olly Murs, a meet and greet with support act Louisa Johnson and an upgrade to the VIP Garden for two.

To be in with a chance of winning the Golden Ticket all you have to do is purchase tickets to any Lytham Festival event at the Lytham Festival Hub this Saturday and you may win the Golden Ticket.

To find out more about Lytham Festival and to purchase tickets go to:

Katie Walsh Says Carlisle’s #AmazingMonday Is A ‘Life Changing’ Prize For Women In Racing

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Top jockey Katie Walsh has labelled Carlisle Racecourse’s #AmazingMonday meeting a “life changing” event for women jockeys.

Katie, the most successful female jockey in Grand National history, said Carlisle’s August 7th meeting – the world’s only all-female jockey race event – was a fantastic showcase for new talent.

Any jockey who rides a winner at #AmazingMonday and then goes on to triumph in the Betfred Ladies’ Trophy Handicap Stakes at Haydock Park five days later – will win the £20,000 Jockey Club North West’s special Development Award for female jockeys.

Katie, an Irish Grand National winner, said: “It’s a fantastic prize that offers a life-changing amount of money to whoever is successful in the series. I just wish that I was able to compete in it!

“The award is a great incentive to help along women jockeys. Racing has come such a long way in the last 10 to 15 years and awards like this can only help raise the profile.

“I wish the best of luck to all those competing. My advice to them is to get their heads down, work hard and to get on the best horses they possibly can.

“You now get some of the best trainers in the UK giving rides to women jockeys if they can prove themselves, that’s another great incentive.”

The Development Award – launched at #AmazingMonday in 2016 – was won for the first time by Cumbria’s very own Emma Sayer, from Hackthorpe, near Penrith. The award was set up to help up-and-coming female talent in the sport.

Emma said: “Winning the award and the two races is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to me in my career. I have never had a feeling like it. I wish I could bottle that feeling and take it round with me.

“The award has provided a window of opportunity for me as you have to look to the future. I invested in a mechanical horse and other riding equipment, put some money aside for racing expenses this summer and into finishing my trainer’s modules.”

Katie and Emma were joined at Haydock Park on Thursday for the official launch of this year’s Development Award by Olympic gold medallist, and #AmazingMonday ambassador, Sam Quek

Hockey star Sam said: “I can’t wait to come up to Carlisle on August 7th and experience my first #AmazingMonday. It’s the world’s only all-female race fixture and that is a massive statement by the Jockey Club North West. Female jockeys are good, they’re damn brave and deserve this recognition. I cannot wait to see who claims the prize.

“It not only takes talent and commitment to get to the top of any sport, but also vital support and this is what this Development Prize offers. It is a great incentive for female jockeys and that prize can help them in so many ways reach their full potential.”

Geraldine McKay, General Manager at Carlisle Racecourse, said: “It was great to have Katie, Emma and Sam at the official launch of the Jockey Club’s Development Award. All three are so passionate about racing and promoting women in this wonderful sport.

“We were delighted Emma won last year’s inaugural Development Award. We cannot wait to see if another young jockey can win what, as Katie so rightly says, is a unique prize which can change lives and really help develop talent in our sport.”

Tickets for #AmazingMonday on Monday August 7th – priced at just £15 – are available by calling 0344 579 3002 or by going to

Record Crowd Is ‘Right Here’ As Chart-Topper Jess Glynne Wows Carlisle Racecourse

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Jess Glynne helped smash a 21st century attendance record as more than 12,000 saw her sensational concert at Carlisle Racecourse on Saturday night.

The triple Brit Award nominee and platinum selling star took to the stage after seven cracking races at Cumbria’s Premier Racecourse.

And Jess had the entire course on its feet and dancing as she delivered her hits Hold My Hand, Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself and Right Here.

The attendance on the night topped 12,000 – the biggest ever crowd for a concert at the course and the biggest attendance for a race meeting at Carlisle this millennium.

While thousands of music fans will descend on the course for the post-racing gig, the serious sporting action begins at 6pm.

All eyes will be on a rather aptly named entry for fans of the golden age of pop with Nigel Tinkler’s Cliff – a 6/1 winner last time out at Ripon – among the ante-post favourites.

The seven-year-old will be ridden by apprentice Faye McManoman in only her 12th race. Carlisle Racecourse will host its #AmazingMonday race meeting on August 7 – the world’s only all-female jockey race day. McManoman will be looking to impress to secure a ride on #AmazingMonday which offers up-and-coming female jockeys the chance to win a £20,000 Development Award.

Elsewhere in Saturday’s field at Carlisle, Mark Johnston – the UK’s leading flat trainer for 2017 with 107 winners so far this season – has Lonely The Brave, ridden by Jimmy Norton, in the 8.00 Racing Uk Handicap.

Carlisle Bell-winning trainer Richard Fahey has three entries, Panophobia in the 6.30 Glo And Go Tanning Lounge Novice Median Auction Stakes, together with Natajack and Character Onesie both in the 8.00.

Elsewhere, in-form Bronze Beau, a 14/1 winner at Hamilton earlier this week, will again be ridden by Shane Gray in the 7.00 Carlisle Supporting Racing Staff Week Handicap.

The 7.30 Fabulous At 50 Handicap, over 1m1f, throws up an intriguing contest between Paul Mulrennan on Invictus – a 10/1 winner at Leicester on June 27 – and Table Manners, ridden by Sammy Jo Bell, also a 10/1 winner at Newcastle last time out.

Geraldine McKay, Carlisle Racecourse’s General Manager, said: “Saturday is going to be a great night here at Carlisle Racecourse.

“Our live music nights are always really special and in Jess Glynne we have a sure-fire crowd pleaser who has released some of the biggest hits of the last few years.

“Before the music we have another great evening of racing. We have some fascinating match-ups with many horses coming here in fine form.

“And as we are now looking ahead to #AmazingMonday – our all-female jockey race day on August 7 – it is great to see many female trainers and jockeys feature on the card on Saturday.”

For information about tickets for go to

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