Musselburgh Shapes Up For Start Of National Hunt Season
Musselburgh Racecourse has enjoyed one of its most successful Flat seasons with 2019 attendances on key race days increasing by between 40 and 60 per cent.
Total attendance over the 17 fixture season was up by 8% from 39,920 to 42,996 while the biggest spikes were on Edinburgh Cup Day and Easter Saturday.
The Edinburgh Cup Race Day, staged on a new September date, saw attendance rise by 1230 (40%) to 4314, while Easter Saturday in April enjoyed a massive 62% boost when the crowd rose by 2138 to 5549.
Other seasonal highlights included another capacity 10,428 crowd on Stobo Castle Ladies Day while the new Honest Toun Community Race Day in association with The Musselburgh Festival in September, which replaced Supporting Your Services Race Day, saw a 24% increase from 2437 to 3023. The Luca’s Ice Cream Family Day in July was another standout with attendance up by 13% to 3169 and which included just under 1000 children who were admitted free of charge.
On the turf there was also success for local horseracing owner Gerry McGladery who claimed the Leading Owner’s championship with a winner in the last race of the season to add to his Leading Owner’s title over the jumps. It is believed the Edinburgh businessman is the first owner to win both disciplines at the same racecourse in the same year.
Sarah Montgomery, Musselburgh Racecourse’s Senior Operations and Commercial Manager, said: “Over the Flat season our advanced sales were up 9% on the previous year, actual attendances increased by 8% and prize money also increased by 6%, so all in all it was a very successful season for race goers, trainers and owners.
“We are delighted with the significant increase in attendances at a number of our key meetings and we are looking at how we can improve on this and to generally strengthen our racing programme over the next season.
“The customer experience remains central to everything we do at Musselburgh and we are delighted that after a recent VisitScotland assessment we have retained our 5 Star status. The owner’s experience score of 91%, which was independently assessed by the Racehorse Owners Association, ensured that we retained our ROA Gold Standard for a 9th successive year.”
The Musselburgh Racecourse team will learn next month if further success awaits at the Racecourse Association Showcase & Awards in which they have been shortlisted in four categories including Best Campaign, Best Event, Spotlight and Owners’ Experience awards. Run in partnership with Moët Hennessy, Racing Post and Great British Racing, the awards celebrate excellence and innovation at British racecourses.
The East Lothian track is now preparing for the first meeting of its 11 fixture National Hunt season with the first jumps meeting of 2019 on Wednesday 6 November.