The Festival: Crowd up on first day at Cheltenham


The attendance on the first day of The Festival 2018 today came to 66,610, up on the crowd of 66,019 for Champion Day last year.

In 2016, there was a record attendance for the first day of 67,700, while 63,249 racegoers attended on the opening day in 2015.

Ian Renton, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourse South West, commented this evening: “We are delighted that we have had the second biggest crowd ever on Champion Day.

“Racegoers were greeted by much better weather, which was pleasing, and the going was not as bad as some thought it might be, with Simon Claisse able to change the description to Soft, Heavy in places after the fifth race.

“There was tremendously exciting racing throughout the day and the Unibet Champion Hurdle finish was a cracker.

“We look forward to the rest of the week, with tickets available on the day both tomorrow and on Thursday, while Friday, Gold Cup Day, is sold out.”