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93 thousand people hit the Knavemire


8:05am 22nd August 2011
(Updated 8:07am 22nd August 2011)

York Racecourse is pleased to confirm that the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2011 attracted 93,316 racegoers – a record for the meeting of the modern era.  This represents 12,673 or 16% more racegoers than last year.

For the first time, the highlight of the York racing season included a Saturday when 28,185 racegoers saw Moyenne Corniche claim the top prize in the £210,000 Betfred Ebor, Europe’s richest flat  handicap, the first Yorkshire trained winner since 1997.  Attendances showed growth on both Day 1 and Day 3 while Thursday’s Ladies Day crowd was the most attended day of the week at 28,283.

Commenting on the meeting, William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course said;

We have been delighted that so many racegoers have been able to enjoy the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival. 

"We have been blessed with some wonderful racing performances, great atmosphere and have been lucky with the weather. 

"The racecourse team of some 3,000 staff and contractors have put in a huge amount of work and I am grateful to them, our sponsors and racegoers for their tremendous support of the meeting.

"The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival continues to grow in its worldwide appeal with the whole meeting being shown live in Australia for the first time, huge bonuses on offer from the Japan Racing Association for York winners and the Coolmore Nunthorpe being the only sprint in the UK to be included in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

"Totepool turnover increased across the week. 

"Channel 4 viewing figures for the richest race ever staged at York, the £700,000 Group 1 Juddmonte International, were up 27% at 635,000 with audience share up 31%. 

"Including supplementary entries and the DBS sales race, prize money was over £2.8 million with a record investment by the racecourse, which in turn attracted a record number of runners at 347.

"Reflecting on the action on the track he continued “It has been a fantastic week of top class racing performances. 

"Twice Over winning the Juddmonte International was a fairy tale result for both the horse - which is the darling of the yard, the trainer who makes the Rocky story look tame, the jockey – riding his first ever Group 1 winner and the owner and breeder who after 22 years of sponsoring the race finally had both first and second and bred the third!

"Thursday’s Ladies Day was appropriately won by super filly Blue Bunting under Frankie Dettori while Friday’s Coolmore Nunthorpe provided a female double with 20-1 shot filly Margot Did winning under top jockey Hayley Turner, winning her second Group 1 in as many months. 

"A final day Frankie Dettori treble included Opinion Poll defending his Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup. 

"Away from the track, the first ever staging of Fashion on the Field saw stunning cat-walk, fashion and beauty village and millinery station created in a trackside marquee under the guidance of Jeff Banks and support of Debenhams.

"After fabulously competitive daily heats, a panel of top fashion designers, including Matthew Williamson and Ben De Lisi, selected Victoria Bailey from Leeds as the meeting’s best dressed racegoer thus winning both a London photo shoot and a five star holiday in Saint Vincent.

"The “edible racehorse” that celebrated Yorkshire produce proved hugely popular both with racegoers and on the internet, the story “trended” on Twitter, knocking off A Level Jitters as the most talked about subject.  In a meeting packed with innovations and events, probably the most spectacular was the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, fully “miked up” and broadcast live to the 28,000 Ladies Day crowd who dropped onto the racecourse to deliver the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival flag.

"Assessing the first time that a Saturday had formed part of the proceedings William Derby said; “We are delighted with the first Ebor Saturday which sees the culmination of many months and years of planning. 

"The fact that we have staged a Festival Saturday raceday in August which has attracted so much interest and engagement both on the racecourse and further appeal is good for both York and racing. 

"Of course in the months ahead we will fully review all aspects of the meeting including viewing figures, media coverage and betting turnover and any aspects that need refining but for now we can reflect on a wonderful week of racing action, fashion and great fun.”

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