Racing - 'Jools' and co to hit top note at Carlisle

CARLISLE Racecourse is preparing to welcome potentially a record modern-day crowd for its evening racing fixture on Saturday.

Twelve months ago, 7,000 people poured through the turnstiles for the CFM Summer Family Festival when Escala was the big draw. In 2006 Tony Hadley's appearance drew no fewer than 8,000 people.

This year the musical attractions for the open-air concert after the horse races - supported by Stobart - are Jools Holland and Alison Moyet.

Jools Holland is no stranger to Cumbria, having performed sell-out gigs at the Maryport Blues Festival and last August at the Sands Centre in Carlisle.

His orchestra includes Gilson Lavis from Squeeze on drums, special guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall as well as ska and reggae legend Rico Rodriguez on trombone.

John Baker, the racecourse's managing director, said: "The interest in the CFM Summer Family Festival has been phenomenal since we announced at the end of last year that Jools Holland would be our special guest. People were even buying tickets as Christmas presents.

"Saturday's crowd could even exceed five figures, which would be incredible.

"But it's not all just about the music. Racing fans won't be disappointed because there's an exciting card of six races, including the £15,000 Stobart Rail Trophy Handicap Stakes.

Although the racing is during the evening - with the first race at 6.55pm and the finale at 9.25pm - the racecourse gates will be open from 3pm with the entertainment starting shortly afterwards.

Saturday's schedule * CFM Radio roadshow: 3pm-5.15pm; * Piranhas live on the CFM Radio stage: 5.15pm-6pm; * CFM Radio roadshow: 6pm-6.30pm; * Children's entertainments - bouncy castle, Punch & Judy, face painting, children's rides, go-karting, creche: 3pm-6.30pm; * Horse racing: 6.55pm-9.25pm; * Concert by Jools Holland and Alison Moyet: approximately 9.35pm; * Fireworks to music: approximately 11pm; * Bars close: approximately 11pm; * Creche: open from 4pm-6.30pm.

Admission Premier Enclosure is sold out; Grandstand & Paddock is £15. Seniors pay £10 in the Grandstand & Paddock. Accompanied under 16s are admitted free of charge. Official programmes are £2.50.

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