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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 18:02 GMT
New racecourse given green light
Great Leighs
Great Leighs will finally open its gates on 4 April
Britain's first new racecourse for 81 years is set to open after a British Horseracing Authority inspectorate gave the Essex track a thumbs-up.

Great Leighs, near Chelmsford, will finally open its gates on 4 April, following a series of delays.

John Holmes, owner and promoter, said it had been a "long and hard journey" but he was "delighted" at the decision.

He warned race goers not to expect a "grand opening", saying it would be a triumph to get off "without a hitch".

'Soft opening'

He added: "I would like to thank the BHA for their encouragement, advice and support, which has been unflagging.

"One must not expect a 'grand opening' - this is a completely new destination where safety will take precedence.

"We see 4 April as a 'soft opening' and if we can achieve the headline 'Great Leighs goes off without a hitch' that will be a triumph. We have a further eight fixtures in April, upon which we can build.

"This will give both us and our operators a steer towards our two-day fixture on 28-29 May, by which time our public grandstand and hospitality facilities will be fully operational."

Great Leighs will be the first new racecourse in Britain since Taunton opened in 1927.



SEE ALSO
Opening setback for Great Leighs
04 Jan 08 |  Horse Racing
Great Leighs faces further delay
22 Dec 06 |  Horse Racing
Great Leighs not ready for racing
05 Aug 06 |  Horse Racing
All-weather enjoys fixtures boom
28 Jul 05 |  Horse Racing

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