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Frankel speaking it’s been brilliant at York Racecourse
PUNTERS will talk about ‘Frankel Day’ for many years to come, reckoned York Racecourse chief executive William Derby as he looked back over another successful season on Knavesmire.
The world’s greatest racehorse came to York in August and won the track’s flagship race, the £725,000 Juddmonte International, in imperious style – beating Farhh by seven lengths in his first trip over a mile and a quarter.
Derby said Frankel was the highlight of a “compelling” year of action on the track, which saw more than £5 million in prize money handed out and brought in 342,120 punters over the course of 17 days of racing.
“We are delighted that the York season has made so many memories; people will be talking about Frankel Day for many years to come,” said Derby. “He is the headline in the story of what has been a wonderfully enjoyable and compelling year of action on Knavesmire.
“The strong performance is testimony to the support we have received from racegoers, sponsors, horsemen and the hard work of the team. We have been treated to some top drawer performances on the track and have seen the benefit of our investment in the trackworks project.
“We employ more than 2,000 people working together to deliver a big raceday and the talents of these individuals, plus the wonderful mix of racegoers and thoroughbred sport have created a fabulous atmosphere here this year.”
Impressive runners to make their mark at York in 2012 included Times Up, who will contest on QIPCO British Champion’s Day this weekend, the John Smith’s Cup winner Mount Athos – on his way to represent Luca Cumani in the Melbourne Cup in November – and Betfred Ebor victor Willing Foe, who ticked one of the remaining boxes on Frankie Dettori’s glittering racing CV when winning York’s signature race in August.
Derby said the attendance figures were also a testimony to the enthusiasm for racing in the county. Despite experiencing the wettest summer for a century, the final figure represented 95 per cent of attendances in 2011 – a record year for York.
He added: “We were especially delighted that the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival was so strongly supported and was such a success, delivering a second year of attendance over 90,000 for this famous occasion.
“It has been an honour to be involved with such an exciting, enjoyable and successful season and I would like to thank everyone connected to York for their support, attendance and enthusiasm.”