Monday September 20, 2021

York and Ascot all set for Saturday crowds

Pa
July 24, 2021

LONDON: Officials at Ascot and York are ready to welcome racegoers for the first weekend meetings since many Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

York are anticipating a figure of around 30,000 on Saturday, with a sell-out in all enclosures on the stands’ side of the course.

Ascot’s projected attendance will be around half that number – between 14,000 and 15,000 for a card which features the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.

Nick Smith, Ascot’s director of racing and public affairs, said: “We’re expecting a crowd of somewhere between 14,000 and 15,000 – it depends on walk-ups. We’d normally get between 24,000 and 25,000 for the King George. We’re obviously going to be some way short of that, but we wouldn’t want too many more than we’re going to have, to be honest. It’s better to have a manageable crowd – safety first.”

The weather is expected to be kinder at York, where McFly are in concert after racing – during which the highlight will be the Sky Bet York Stakes.

James Brennan, York’s head of marketing and sponsorship, said: “Unlike the south we are looking at a dry and pleasant forecast, and the other remarkable thing is we have not had the Clock Tower (or Picnic) enclosure open in 21 months. Tomorrow we might reach the 30,000 mark.

“Stands’ side – County Stand, Grandstand and Paddock – we have reached capacity. The Clock Tower enclosure only goes on sale on the day.”