AN 87-YEAR-OLD was granted her wish of visiting a much-loved racecourse.

Evie Wallage, who lives at Bowes House Care UK home in Hailsham, did not think much would happen when she pinned up her hope to visit Lingfield Park racecourse on the “wish tree” at her care home.

But her wish came true and she took centre stage at the Surrey racecourse, having a race named after her.

She even presented the prize to the winning horse’s owner.

Revestar won the Evie Wallage Wish Tree Maiden Auction Stakes.

Evie had her name in lights at the course ahead of the race and was delighted by the surprise.

She said: “I had absolutely no idea there was a race named after me until I arrived – what a lovely surprise.”

Evie was accompanied on her day out by Care UK receptionist Frances Gaunt – a former member of the Lingfield Park raceday sales team.

Frances, who retired from the racecourse in 2017 after a career spanning 30 years, said she was delighted to help Evie’s wish come true.

She said: “It was wonderful to be able to pick up the phone to Lingfield Park and my old colleagues and organise this for Evie.

“Fortunately I was able to make sure Evie could come down and even have the race named after her.

“Evie’s face lit up when she saw all the horses and saw that her name was attached to one of the races.

“I now work one day a week at the home and love to see the wishes come true for the residents.

“It was also a treat to return to Lingfield Park and see so many familiar faces – both staff and customers.”

And Frances added that the wish tree at Bowes is a big hit.

“The residents write their wishes on the tree. We do as many as we can.

“For them it is another chance to make, or relive, memories and it keeps them active.”

Deborah Hay, partnerships manager at Lingfield Park Resort said staff were thrilled to welcome the visitors for the day.

She said: “Frances is missed greatly as she was a living legend here so it was lovely to see her back again – and particularly with our special guest of honour, Evie.

“We are always happy to help people and organisations in our community and it was great to see Evie enjoying live racing again as she hasn’t had the opportunity to come for a few years.

“We hope they both had a great time.”