No it’s not an April Fool! Musselburgh Racecourse will open its flat season by giving race goers free entry as part of a month long initiative involving 25 UK racecourses.

Admission fees have been waived for the Friday April 1 meeting under the promotion by Racing for Change and lovetheraces.com in a bid to increase the public’s awareness of horseracing.

The venture follows a similar programme last year which brought in an additional 40,000 visitors to the races. This time 28 fixtures, spread throughout April, will offer free entry at some of the UK’s leading courses including, Musselburgh and Perth (first 500) in Scotland,  and  Ascot, Epsom Downs, Newbury, Newmarket and Sandown Park.

Seventeen fixtures are entirely free while a total of 5500 free tickets are available in advance at a further 11 meetings, but they are expected to be snapped up quickly.

Rod Street, chief executive of Racing for Change, said: “This ground breaking move in April is being organised in a bid to attract record numbers of new customers to the fun and exciting sport of horse racing. It’s also a great way to reward existing fans of the sport.

“The aim of the month is to appeal to people who have been infrequent visitors to horse racing in the past or who have never been to a racecourse.  At many of the meetings, there will be staff, literature and displays to explain more about the sport.”

Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said: “We have staged free race days in the past with the generous support of our bookmakers and naturally these fixtures have proved extremely popular.

“We are happy to support Racing for Change in this exciting initiative to increase interest in horseracing while at the same time offering something back to our regular race goers. It’s a great way to kick off our flat season and it will create a great atmosphere that large gates generate.”

To obtain free entry at Musselburgh on Friday April 1 bookings must be made online by visiting  the website