Cheltenham: had a bumper crowd for it's new year's fixturePICTURE: Edward Whitaker
BHA eager to offer more bank holiday racing
RACING'S rulers are keen to increase the numbers of bank holiday meetings following a new year period in which courses have greeted bumper attendances.
A crowd of 23,000 went through the turnstiles at Cheltenham on January 1, while Fakenham's newly-scheduled meeting on the same afternoon was a huge hit with racegoers, and the BHA hopes to encourage more venues to open when the public is free to attend.
The Racecourse Association is also in favour of an increase, but Britain's major bookmakers areless eager to see a growth in bank holiday fixtures, reasoning that only a limited number can be covered adequately in betting shops.
Ruth Quinn, the BHA's racing director, said: "We are in favour of increasing the number of meetings on bank holidays and, for 2009, there are three more than there were in 2008.
"We believe the public ought to have every opportunity to go racing onthe days people are free to do so and we are especially keen to ensure that, geographically, the whole of the UK is well served on bank holidays."
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