Express veteran bets on Newmarket launch

Extra: first racing paper for the sport’s ‘headquarters’

Former Daily Express assistant sports editor Philip Osborn has returned to his old local paper patch to launch Newmarket’s first racing paper.

Osborn first had the idea of launching such a title 35 years ago when he was Newmarket district reporter for the Cambridge Evening News. But when he moved to Fleet Street he did not have time to test his theory.

Five years ago, Osborn took redundancy after 18 years on the Express as a sub-editor, sports news editor and then assistant sports editor. After pursuing other projects and delays caused by personal reasons, Newmarket Extra was finally published this week.

Osborn is publisher and editor and Newmarket-based freelance William Sadler is news editor.

The 20-page newsprint tabloid is initially monthly and goes out free to every jockey, trainer and stud-farm owner in the district as well as 10,000 homes. Osborn hopes to take the paper fortnightly by the start of the turf Flat season in March and eventually weekly. If it proves successful, he plans to launch a similar title in Newbury.

Osborn said: “I’ve spent most of the past 20 years writing about football, where you go into an almost trivial amount of detail and it’s obviously popular with readers. I was convinced the same thing would work for racing.

“There is nothing like that for racing. There isn’t a vehicle for the in-depth study of the people. Every road you walk down in Newmarket you bump into interesting characters – hopefully we will be able to capture them and produce interesting features.”

The launch issue leads with an exclusive story that footballer David Beckham is planning to set up as a racehorse owner in Newmarket when he retires.

By Dominic Ponsford

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