Cheltenham 2020 crowd down by 7,000 after coronavirus ‘uncertainty’

Cheltenham Racecourse chiefs were pleased with the attendance on the first day of The Festival, despite numbers being down by 7,000 on last year.

With coronavirus cases increasing to 373, including six deaths, many racegoers were just pleased the meeting happened at all.

A total of 60,664 people went through the gates to enjoy a Unibet Champion Hurdle won by Epatante, Rachael Blackmore's heroics on Honeysuckle and The Conditional's victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase .

Ian Renton, Regional Director for Cheltenham, said: ""We are very happy with the crowd considering the uncertainty of the last fortnight."

In 2019, 67,934 people went to the first day of The Festival.

This year, the emphasis was on coronavirus prevention measures- and a special message was played to racegoers on arrival .

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