Huntingdon Racecourse was the venue for a surprise marriage proposal last month.

Anthony Elliot, 54, proposed to his girlfriend of eight years, Rachel Walton, 42, by slipping the big question into the race day programme on Tuesday, March 31.

The nervous groom-to-be hid the ring in his binoculars, enlisting the help of close friend Deb Anderson to help the operation run smoothly.

Deb was showing her pal, a PA assistant, how the race card worked when Rachel stumbled across an advert with the words 'will you marry me?' and her picture across the page.

A shocked Rachel was both tearful and happy at Anthony's, self confessed "best kept secret".

The racing enthusiast came up with the idea as an extension of Rachel's birthday present.

After two months of careful planning, Anthony, a car sales executive, is now the envy of all his single friends whose partners are wanting "an equally nice proposal or to better it", he said.

The newly-engaged couple from Stamford, Lincolnshire, have yet to plan the wedding, but are hoping to do it in the summer.