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New record total attendance at The Festival 2018

Gold Cup Day, the fourth and final day of The Festival today, was attended by 70,684 racegoers - a sold-out crowd.
 
Thanks to this and two record crowds earlier this week, the Home of Jump Racing has seen a new record total attendance at The Festival of 262,637.
 
The crowd for yesterday's St Patrick's Thursday, the third day of The Festival, came to 66,384, a new record the day since The Festival expanded to four days in 2005. The total beat last year's 66,200 by 184, while 65,544 attended in 2016 and 60,495 in 2015.
 
This was the second consecutive day of a record crowd as 58,959 racegoers came to Cheltenham on Wednesday, the second day of The Festival, Ladies Day.
 
Tuesday's crowd of 66,110 was the second highest-ever on the opening day of The Festival, Champion Day.
 
DAY/YEAR 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
FRIDAY 70,684 70,160 70,242 68,957
 
THURSDAY 66,384 66,200 65,544 60,495
 
WEDNESDAY 58,959 57,681 57,093 55,359
 
TUESDAY 66,110 66,019 67,700 63,249
 
Totals 262,637(new record) 260,060 260,579 248,050

A herculean effort by Cheltenham's staff has ensured The Festival 2018 will go down as another memorable sporting occasion.
 
Ian Renton, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses South West, praised the Cheltenham team, who have battled with the weather and muddy underfoot conditions to give record-breaking crowds four wonderful days of racing.
 
Renton said: "It's been a tremendous week with brilliant racing, even on soft and heavy ground. There have been some memorable finishes, and I'm delighted that we have attracted a record attendance [262,637] for the entire Festival.
 
"It's an event that is getting better and better, and we now have the facilities to match the quality of the racing. 
 
"The team here has been brilliant in coping with the conditions leading up to the meeting - the groundstaff did an unbelievable job - and similarly, it's been pretty tricky out in the car parks and there has been a tremendous amount of work out there. It won't have been a particularly happy experience parking cars in the conditions, but the team have put in a mass effort to get vehicles in and out.
 
"We have up to 7,000 staff working here today, we bought in seven miles of trackway and many hundreds of tons of stone, and on Wednesday we even had a complete team working on a new road to give access to a car park."
 
Horse and human endeavour make a great mix, as witnessed in today's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. Renton said: "To see Native River and Might Bite competing in such a great race was wonderful, and for Richard Johnson, Britain's champion jockey, to come out on top was no less than he deserved. Yet great credit must go to the Irish - Michael O'Leary [racehorse owner], Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins, are but three who have had the most wonderful meeting.
 
"The Irish have had the success they deserved, but we have witnessed great training and riding performances all week. A wonderful aspect of The Festival is its ability to give everyone a chance of glory. There have been successes for small trainers, women jockeys and young jockeys at the start of their careers - The Festival can put them at the top. I'm looking forward to The Festival 2019 already."

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