Fans and newcomers can go racing for free at 25 British racecourses next month.

Racecourses, including Ascot, Epsom, Newbury, Newmarket and Sandown, are opening their gates to the public free of charge throughout April as part of a venture by Racing for Change.

The move follows the successful “free racing week” last April, which attracted an additional 40,000 visitors.

Seventeen fixtures are entirely free in at least one enclosure, while there are a total of 5,500 free tickets available in advance at a further 11 meetings.

The month includes the school holidays, Easter and the Royal Wedding (29 April) when admission will be free at Doncaster.

“This ground-breaking move is being organised in a bid to attract record numbers of new customers to the fun and exciting sport of horse racing. It’s also a great way to reward existing fans of the sport,” said Rod Street, chief executive of Racing for Change,

“The aim of the month is to appeal to people who have been infrequent visitors to horse racing in the past or who have never been to a racecourse. At many of the meetings, there will be staff, literature and displays to explain more about the sport.”

The month of free racing provides a mix of both afternoon and evening meetings as well as a choice of racing over jumps and on the flat.

To book tickets: www.lovetheraces.com

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (10 March, 2011)