Horse race dedicated to George Formby takes Haydock Park by storm

They were under starters orders for a race which celebrates Wigan’s most famous entertainer.

By Charles Graham
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 3:45 pm

The George Formby Birthday Handicap has become a traditional fixture on the Haydock Park calendar.

It was the brainchild of George Formby Society members who were keen to remind the uninitiated that before the world-famous banjole player and film star appeared on stage and screen, he was a jockey.

The 4.15pm race took place on what would have been “Our George's” 118th birthday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

George Formby Society fans perform Leaning on a Lamppost at Haydock Park

Read More

Read More
Popular fountain returns to Wigan park after being restored to all its glory

The Best "Turned Out Nice Again" horse in the race selected by the lady members of the society was Brunello Breeze whose groom received £50.

The race itself was won by Above It All at 9/2.

It was owned by Ebury Racing, trained by Ed Walker at Lambourn, ridden by Kieran Shoemark and whose groom was Georgia McCabe.

The presentations to the owner jockey and groom for the race were made by the society’s vice-president Dennis Lee.

After the presentations, members of the society played one of Formby’s most famous hits, Leaning on a Lamppost for the racegoers which earned them a great round of applause.

Jockey Club supremo Dickon White said: "That was good we must do it bigger and better next year!”

Formby was born born George Hoy Booth in Westminster Street not far from Central Park.

His father George Formby Snr was a big music hall star is own right and despite Junior’s flirtations with horse racing he ended up following his dad into showbusiness and by the late 1930s was the best-paid entertainer in the world, topping anything that even Hollywood could boast.