Exciting plans at racecourse

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We’re lucky to have one of the world’s most prestigious sporting venues only 90 minutes down the road, so for anyone keen to get closer to the emotive and exhilarating world of horse racing, look no further than Newmarket Racecourse’s 2012 season.

It’s regarded as the home of racing, being the venue where Charles II raced his own horses in 17th Century.

Today, the racecourse is a thriving social hub, boasting a vast calendar of 38 race days including free children’s events, pop and rock concerts and world-class horse-racing.

The list of 2012 events started with the Craven meeting this week.

On May 5 and 6 is the QIPCO Guineas Festival, one of the most electrifying race days of the year.

The Piper Heidsieck Festival on July 12-14 boasts three days of world class racing and includes Ladies Day and Abu Dhabi Day .

Adnams Newmarket Nights start on Friday, June 22, combining an evening of racing with a live, open air concert. Madness is the first of the acts to be confirmed, playing on June 22.

Summer Saturdays start the following day. On selected Saturdays the course holds family-friendly face days which combine an afternoon of racing with free themed family activities for the children. Under 18s get in free.

New for 2012 are Summer Saturdays Live on June 9 and August 25, when family race days are topped off with an early evening concert. McFly will hit the stage on June 9 and Steps on August 25.

Also new is Horsemen & Heroes Day on August 18, a family day acknowledging the bravery and courage of our servicemen and women, raising money to support charities in their honour.

The Town Plate on August 25 is a wonderfully bonkers 348 year old tradition which sees amateur horse riders compete in a race over a whopping three miles, all to win... a plate of Newmarket sausages! .

The Cambridgeshire Meeting on September 27-29 has races of stunning quality and the Future Champions Day on October 13 exposes the future stars of the horse-racing industry.

For more information including timings and prices, visit www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk or call 01638 675307.