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Roaming reptiles boost Chepstow as sun helps Monday attendances

As usual fans flocked to Cartmel
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The promise of an inflatable assault course, roaming reptiles and a Taylor Swift impersonator helped Chepstow post the most impressive attendance increase on a bank holiday Monday when warm weather kept racecourses busy.

While Cartmel had the most racegoers – having also offered the largest amount of prize-money – Chepstow had the satisfaction of gaining the biggest year-on-year growth, with its family raceday drawing in the region of 7,000 people – well up on last year's 4,381.

The meeting had pulled in 8,173 customers in 2002 but that number slumped over the intervening years.

Executive director Phil Bell said: "It's the second best turnout for this meeting at the course in the last 15 years.

"I'm delighted with the figure as we've put a lot of time and effort into promoting the day as a family raceday. Hopefully some of them will be back on other days."

Racegoers enjoyed the Epsom action from both sides of the track

Cartmel staged its final meeting under the leadership of Jonathan Garratt, who reported: "We've a crowd of just over 15,000, similar to last year. I'm very satisfied with the turnout."

Ripon also matched last year's total of 8,000, while Epsom was up on 2016's 7,019 at 7,500.

Fancy dress proved popular at Epsom

Spokeswoman Tessa Day said: "The day was complemented by Epsom’s open day this morning. Customers could buy an open day and raceday ticket together and that will have helped the crowd."

Downpatrick was unlucky with the weather and manager Richard Lyttle was pleased with the crowd – estimated in excess of 3,500, against just under 4,000 last year – under the circumstances.  

"It's the first day we have had rain all summer, but it's been a tremendously successful day," he said. 

New for 2017 was an all-weather programme at Southwell, whose manager Mark Clayton reported a 2,500 turnout, and said: "We're delighted with that, seeing as it's a new fixture, and we'll be looking to build on it in the next couple of years."


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It is the second best turnout for this meeting at the course in the last 15 years

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