‘Great year’ but 2016 could be even better

Beverley Racecourse chief executive believes a �500,000 refurbishment over the winter could further enhance the course's reputation.
Beverley Racecourse chief executive believes a �500,000 refurbishment over the winter could further enhance the course's reputation.

Beverley Racecourse chief executive Sally Iggulden branded 2015 “a great year” as the curtain came down on another season of racing on the Westwood.

Fine weather and big-money refurbishments in the close season contributed to yet another rise in yearly attendances at the popular East Yorkshire circuit.

Sally Iggulden

Sally Iggulden

But with an additional investment of £500,000 to expand and update Beverley’s main restaurant and premier enclosure, Iggulden believes next season could be even better.

She said: “2015 has been a great year for us.

“Attendances have been healthy throughout the season, with a 5% increase, year on year.

“The investment in the facilities over the closed season were well received, and our improvement plan continues unabated this winter, with a further £500,000 spend on upgrades planned.

“Field sizes have also been strong, and the quality of racing on the Westwood continues to improve, in line with our commitment to prize-money.

“Our flagship races were hugely competitive, and the fact that the Beverley Bullet saw an Irish-trained horse in Maarek take home the spoils, shows the reputation that it now has amongst racing folk.”

As well as the Bullet, other highlights included Easton Angel, winning of the Hilary Needler Trophy, an appearance by cyclist-turned-jockey Victoria Pendleton, another sell-out Ladeis’ Day, and the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy which was claimed by First Selection.

Frankie Dettori was the star name in action on the Westwood at the final meeting last Thursday. His only ride was on Afjaal in the Racing UK Maiden Stakes and the 5/6 favourite held off Pensax Boy to win.

Trainer Mark Johnston claimed his 14th winner of the season at Beverley when 7/1 shot Deodoro sniffed out victory in the opening race.

Favourites claimed the next four races on the card but punters found a little value later in the day as Venutius (9/2), Fujin (11/2) and Anieres Boy (6/1) won the final three races of the 2015 season.