4000 race fans expected

Thousands are expected to watch horses being led around the Overton Farm paddock on Saturday
Thousands are expected to watch horses being led around the Overton Farm paddock on Saturday

With a terrific weather forecast predicted for this week, it looks as if Overton Farm owner Willie Young has done it yet again!

Willie – who has an uncanny knack of scheduling his annual Crossford point to point meeting for a day of fine weather – appears to have again won a watch by making the latest instalment this Saturday.

He said: “If the weather is good, I think we will get over 4000 here.

“We’ve held this meeting for well over 10 years now and I think it is so popular because people around here have such a keen interest in racing.”

With two kids’ pony races (from 11.30am) and seven horse races (from 1pm) fixed for the big day, along with a hospitality tent, 25 to 30 on course bookmakers, live commentary, TV race coverage and first class catering, there is a lot to like about this annual fixture in the local sporting calendar.

“It is unusual for a point to point meeting to have such a big crowd as ours,” Willie said.

“I think we get as many people coming to our event as go to an average meeting at one of the permanent racetracks.

“The bookies recognise that, as you don’t normally get up to 30 of them at a point to point meeting.

“I think the ones that come here realise there is going to be a large crowd of people wanting to splash the cash.”

The Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Eglinton meeting will feature top amateur jockeys – including Tristan Davidson and Kit Alexander – battling it out in exciting contests over the Overton fences.

The large crowds who have watched action unfold over the years had led to Willie expressing a desire to have a permanent all weather racetrack at Overton Farm.

But he has now admitted that the idea is likely to never become a reality.

“I think that setting up the all weather track and other infrastructure here would cost between £5 million and £10 million,” Willie said.

“I have tested the water but the funding is not there for it.

“It would be good to have an all weather track here rather than people having to travel down to Wolverhampton or Southwell. But racing does not seem to have a lot of flush cash just now.”

Admission this Saturday is £10 for adults (including complementary programme), with free admission for under-16s if accompanied by an adult.