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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.

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04 Jan 08 |  Horse Racing
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22 Dec 06 |  Horse Racing
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05 Aug 06 |  Horse Racing
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28 Jul 05 |  Horse Racing


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