Race-goers ready for Ladies’ Evening at Fontwell

Jo Whiley is Fontwell-bound
Jo Whiley is Fontwell-bound

FONTWELL PARK stages its earliest-ever Ladies’ Evening tonight (Friday).

The annual fixture in the track’s calendar has traditionally been held in August, but this year has been moved forward to give it a new appeal.

A programme of seven early-evening races will be followed by a much-anticipated DJ set by Radio 2’s Jo Whiley.

Gates open at 2.30pm and racing begins at 4.30pm with the Lucketts Travel Quality Coach Hire Maiden Hurdle.

A class-three contest, the Lucketts Travel Holidays Of Distinction Handicap Hurdle at 5.40pm, looks to be the highlight of the racecard.

The action continues on the track until the 7.55pm race, the 88 In Free Bets At 888sport.com Standard open NH flat race.

The seven races have attracted 70 runners - the biggest total at Fontwell for some time.

Our tips: 4.30 Marden Court, 5.05 De Blacksmith, 5.40 Benbecula, 6.15 Very Noble, 6.50 Benability, 7.20 Red Anchor, 7.55 Lapalala.

After that, music takes over for the rest of the Equitini-sponsored evening.

The occasion also boasts an outstanding best dressed lady competition, in which the winner will receive a prize including £1,000 cash and a luxury designer hamper in conjunction with House of Fraser, Chichester.

House of Fraser will host a mini shopping village while ladies in the Fillies’ & Fizz Pavilion will be able to pose for photographs with Michael Bublé impersonator Jordan Paul Rhys Williams.

There will be a ‘Name the Fontwell Park Signature Cocktail’ competition. The cocktail has been designed especially for Ladies’ Evening.

Ladies will be able to enter the competition on the night and the winner will be announced during the event.

The prize for the most suitable name will be two Premier Grandstand tickets to Fontwell’s second ladies’ fixture of the year on Thursday, August 13.

Racegoers will have the option to make a discretionary donation when buying the signature cocktail to children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House.

Chestnut Tree House will be promoting their ladies-only Night to Remember Midnight Walk and interested parties will be able to sign up for the fundraiser, which is taking place on Saturday, May 16.

Fontwell officials are hoping for a big crowd and are keen to see the effect of moving Ladies’ Evening to its earlier spot in the year.

Executive director Simon Williams said: “This year our Ladies’ Evening will be bigger and better than ever. We’re very excited to be playing host to Jo Whiley who will complete the evening in style.”