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Attendances at seven-year high

A day at the races helping boost Scottish economy

Musselburgh racesScotland’s five racecourses are in rude health, helped buy off-course activities such as events.

Scottish Racing said 308,000 racegoers and other visitors to its courses at Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso, Musselburgh and Perth, putting attendance at a seven year high.

The sport injects an estimated £173 million into the national economy and paid out a record £6.7m in prize money, according to its latest report.

Scottish Racing chairman Sir Ian Good said the sport made a “considerable contribution” to the wider economy during 2015.

He said: “Direct annual expenditure has been estimated at £55m, with a wider economic benefit of approximately £173m.

“The racecourses are being rewarded with increased attendances through their brilliant promotion of the sport, offering fantastic days and evenings out.

“Accompanied children are admitted free at every meeting, making a trip to the races a really affordable family occasion.

“People love a day at the races, it’s safe, it’s fun and there’s a chance of winning with a small flutter.”

The review reveals that total attendance at 101 fixtures rose 3.5% on the previous a year and by 13.7% over three years.

The top race meetings – the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup Festivals – attracted a combined 40,000 spectators.

Ladies Day at Musselburgh Racecourse attracted 10,300 to the richest race of the year, the £100,000 Scottish Sprint Cup.

The Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse paid out total prize money of £210,000 – second only among handicap jump races to the Grand National at Aintree.

 

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