UK Jockey Club considers adding a day to Cheltenham
The Jockey Club is said to be evaluating the possibility of adding a fifth day to the Cheltenham Festival by 2023.
UK.- One of UK’s biggest horseracing events could be getting bigger. The Jockey Club is said to be analysing the possibility of adding a fifth day to the Cheltenham Festival by 2023.
According to The Telegraph, the body is looking to “explore every option” to improve the event and the sport of horseracing in general.
If the Festival is expanded, it will join other five-day festivals such as the Punchestown Festival in Ireland and Royal Ascot, which was expanded to five days in 2003.
Indeed, the experience of Ascot seems to be the main motivating force for the possible change. A younger crowd was seen attending the final fixtures on Saturday June 19 this year, and there’s hope that Cheltenham, which hosts the Grand National, might be able to replicate that appeal to a younger audience.
That could boost revenue following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which cost the racing sector an estimated £90m last year.
The Jockey Club said: “The last time this was discussed in earnest in public, some key stakeholders in our sport expressed their desire for a fifth day.
“We always explore every option to improve the Festival and support British racing, but we have made no decision to extend the length.”
Oddschecker reported over 31,000 new customer registrations during this year’s Cheltenham Festival, an increase of 93 per cent year-on-year.
Scientific Games reported a record number of bets on the Grand National rising 53 per cent year-on-year to pass the 70 million mark.
The Jockey Club appointed Nevin Truesdale as chief executive officer in December and Charlie Boss as chief commercial officer among a raft of new appointments at the start of this year.