FeatureCheltenham Festival

Has the Cheltenham Festival peaked? Or are falling crowds actually for the best?

Chris Cook explores the popularity of the festival in light of last week's poor attendance

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Chris CookSenior reporter
Cheltenham Festival: over 60,000 racegoers attended Tuesday's fixture
Cheltenham's attendance was down on last year but the result was a better experience for those present.Credit: Edward Whitaker

It was one of those times when the numbers told a different story to the one we thought we'd lived through.

Day one at last week's Cheltenham Festival was as involving, emotional, gripping and entertaining as any day in the sport's recent history and seemed an affirmation of racing's ability to produce great drama.

Then we found there had been far fewer people there to enjoy it than last year. Tuesday's attendance came to 60,284, a tumble of 12 per cent.

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Published on 23 March 2023Last updated 18:00, 23 March 2023