Eight individuals from the horseracing world will contest the final of Racing Welfare’s Furlong Factor on Saturday after the round of heats concluded on Monday evening.

Final performances will be aired across Racing Welfare’s social media channels from 2pm on Saturday. Luke Harvey will announce the overall winner of the competition live on Sky Sports Racing from 5pm.

Ahead of the winner being announced, those who have been following the competition can head to www.racingwelfare.co.uk/furlong-factor to cast their vote.

Making their way into the final are Lucy Barry, National Hunt Manager for the Melbourne 10 syndicate, young trainer James Ferguson, Hillwood Stud’s stud hand Kristen Wheeler and Lara Telfer, South West Regional Marketing Manager for the Jockey Club.

They will be joined by amateur rider Fred Tett, Godolphin’s pre-training rider Lilli Hines, Annie Martin, who works for William Haggas, and Rebecca Thomas, who works for Delyth Thomas Arab Racing.

The eight remain in with a chance to walk away with a cash prize of £1,500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, courtesy of Racing Breaks. The winner will also receive a Furlong Factor trophy, which has been donated by Inkerman London.

In the run-up to Saturday’s final, fans will be able to back their favourite contestant through the Tote. All funds raised by the bets will be donated to Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.

Luke Harvey, guest host of the Furlong Factor, said: “I have been blown away by the talent that the Furlong Factor has uncovered. It has been so much fun to be involved with and wonderful to see the racing industry come together in support of Racing Welfare.

“The final on Saturday is going to be a blast, I’ve got no idea how the voters are going to choose a winner, it’s sure to be a close contest.”

Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare’s Chief Executive, added: “We have been overwhelmed by the support the Furlong Factor has received, to see so many entries from so many talented people has been wonderful and the reaction on social media from across the whole industry has been fantastic.

“I hope that the competition has raised awareness of our services during these difficult times. The demand for help from Racing Welfare has never been higher than now and I would ask everyone has been watching and enjoying the Furlong Factor so far to donate to our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal if they can. We really do appreciate your support.”

Musselburgh given licence extension

Troubled track Musselburgh has avoided its latest danger after the British Horseracing Authority granted the course a temporary licence until the end of October.

A series of previous temporary licences had been granted to the Scottish track, now managed by Chester Race Company, as far back as three years ago.

In December last year, a three-month extension was given until the end of March with the expectation that Chester’s deal to take over would be complete. However, East Lothian Council, which own the course, couldn’t get the deal finalised and another temporary licence was granted until May 1.

In a statement, the BHA and East Lothian Council said: “The extension has been approved in order to give sufficient time for the complications that have arisen in the deal to appoint a third-party operator due to the coronavirus pandemic to be worked through.”