Racing fans can now get a range of freebies and discounts at 14 British racecourses just by doing their everyday shopping.

Rewards4Racing is a new loyalty scheme launched by the Jockey Club on 29 January with the aim of increasing attendance figures.

More than 250 high street and online retailers have signed up — including M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Boots, amazon.co.uk and iTunes.

Racegoers can collect points on everyday purchases that can then be used at all Jockey Club racecourses, including Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom and Newmarket.

Rewards include discounts on food and drinks, free tickets and free racecards.

Paul Fisher, of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “Research shows most people who come racing love it, but we need to give them reasons to be loyal, so a once-a-year visit turns into enjoying it more regularly.”

Points are collected through the website www.rewards4racing.com.

Occasional racegoer Morna Richards from Cardiff welcomed the idea.

“It’s good to know when I’m downloading songs from iTunes that I’m also earning free drinks,” she said.

And racing fan Fiona Twigg from London added: “Getting free entry just by doing my weekly food shop would definitely be an incentive to go racing more.”

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