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Dame Judi Dench joins Lingfield horse racing fans

PUBLISHED: 12:41 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:41 10 April 2014

Dame Judi Dench with young racegoers at Lingfield Park racecourse

Dame Judi Dench with young racegoers at Lingfield Park racecourse

Archant

Keen racing fan Dame Judi Dench thrilled thousands of fans on Saturday as she spent the afternoon meeting and greeting visitors to Lingfield Park Racecourse.

The award-winning actress, who lives in nearby Outwood, was happy to chat to fellow racegoers as they enjoyed a Discover Racing day at the Surrey course.

Dame Judi, herself a racehorse owner, was at Lingfield Park as patron of the East Park Riding for the Disabled.

The charity holds regular days at the racecourse to highlight the work it carries out with disabled people at its nearby base.

As well as signing autographs and posing for pictures in return for a donation to the charity, Dame Judi was proudly showing off the colours and a display of photographs of her ex-racehorse Smokey Oakey who now lives at East Park RDA.

“It seemed a good opportunity to show how a successful racehorse can be successfully re-homed,” she explained.

“We have lots of lovely memories of Smokey Oakey – particularly him winning the Lincoln at Doncaster in 2008 – so it’s lovely to share that with people here today. He is now being cared for at the RDA and he couldn’t have a better home.”

Discover Racing attracted visitors from all over Surrey, Sussex and Kent who were treated to a day of surprises including a display from renowned horse whisperer Gary Witheford, coverage of The Grand National and free pony rides for the youngsters.

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