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Newmarket to host first 'derby' in 75 years as town gears up for soapbox race

Pictures from the first West Suffolk Hospital MyWiSH Charity Soapbox Challenge in Bury St Edmunds. Newmarket has launched its own race this year
 Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Pictures from the first West Suffolk Hospital MyWiSH Charity Soapbox Challenge in Bury St Edmunds. Newmarket has launched its own race this year Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

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Newmarket is set to host its first 'derby' for more than 75 years when soapbox racers take to the streets of the town in August.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the inaugural event in Newmarket Picture: ANDY ABBOTTThousands of people are expected to attend the inaugural event in Newmarket Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Thousands of people are expected to turn out to see more than 60 homemade carts hurtle down Warren Hill in Newmarket's Soapbox Derby on Sunday, August 25.

Businesses in the region are being urged to enter a team or become a sponsor for the event, which will raise money for causes backed by the Newmarket Town Charity.

The event is being backed by The Jockey Club Estates, Newmarket Racecourses, auctioneers Tattersalls and tourism hub Discover Newmarket.

James Lay, speaking on behalf the event organisers Newmarket Town Council, said: "Our first Soapbox Derby Day is going to be really exciting and we're sure people across the region will want to get behind this inaugural event. 
"It's certainly not for the faint-hearted but we're hoping to see some fantastically designed carts driven by brave amateur racers relying on gravity to get them down safely.

Businesse are being encouraged to get involved with a team or sponsorship Picture: ANDY ABBOTTBusinesse are being encouraged to get involved with a team or sponsorship Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

"We're sure to see some rivalry but the emphasis will definitely be on having fun."

Moulton Road will be closed to traffic as spectators line the streets to watch the thrills and spills of the race.

There will be food and drinks stalls in the nearby Trainers' Car Park. Tickets are £5 for adults and children ar free.

Megan Pollexfen, Discover Newmarket manager, said: "We're expecting thousands of people to attend Newmarket's Soapbox Derby Day and experience everything our magnificent town has to offer.

Newmarket's Soapbox Derby will take place on August 25 Picture: ANDY ABBOTTNewmarket's Soapbox Derby will take place on August 25 Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

"Aside from the race itself, they'll be able to tour attractions such as Palace House, The Jockey Club Rooms and The National Stud.

"It's sure to be a great day out to bring the racing and local communities together over the August Bank Holiday weekend."

During the Second World War, the world-famous Derby flat race was moved from Epsom to Newmarket and the Suffolk town has not hosted such an event since 1943.

The Newmarket Soapbox Derby will be a much shorter race, run over a distance of 700 metres as opposed to the 2,420m at Epsom.

All information regarding entering a team, becoming a sponsor, specifications for the soapboxes and ticket sales can be found by visiting www.newmarketsoapboxderby.org.uk

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