WET weather failed to dampen sales at York Racecourse as the venue enjoyed a record year despite a drop in attendance.

In its full year accounts, for the year ending October 31, 2016, the racecourse’s parent company York Racecourse Knavesmire, revealed 2015’s record turnover of £20.5 million was topped last year as revenues surged ahead to £21.3 million.

Operating profits at the course grew from £2.5 million to £2.6 million despite a 3.8 per cent drop in attendance, down to 347,180 racegoers for the year.

The fall was attributed wet weather in 2016, with almost all the attendance deficit reported in the Course Enclosure, as seven of the 17 race days were hit with rain.

Filing its accounts, York Racecourse said its growth was “enhanced raceday revenue driven by a near record attendance for the season, increased media rights income driven by online streaming (bet to view) and international picture rights, non raceday events and activities and entry fees,” adding: “The latter reflects the strength of York’s race programme, commitment to prize money and investments made in the track and owner’s experience.”

Costs of sales during the year increased by £494,000 including an additional investment of £422,000 in prize money to a record level of £7.2 million.

This attracted 1,423 runners for the 115 race programme, delivering an average of 12.4 runners per race, the highest of any racecourse in Britain.

Prize money was funded by £2 million owners’ entry fees, £1.6 million Horserace Betting Levy Board funding and £3.6 million execution contribution.

James Brennan, head of marketing at York Racecourse, said: "These numbers are a credit to the hard work of all involved at York.

"Whilst our attention has already turned to the 2017 season which got underway recently, you can see how the strong financial performance of 2016 has allowed another investment in prize money to a new height of £7.6million , as well as improvements racegoer facilities such as the Eat Between Our Races area.

"Accounts naturally tell a financial story, they struggle to convey the majesty of top class horses such as Postponed or the memories made for connections and racegoers alike during the 2016 season on the Knavesmire.”

Fixed asset additions of £1.1 million in 2016 included £442,000 on the completion of the Northern End Development project, which saw the refurbishment and conversion of the Edwardian Weighing Room into an additional racegoer facility.

The racecourse’s Charity Raceday raised a record £484,127 in 2016 for Macmillan Cancer Support and other cancer and racing charities. Macmillan reports this as its largest single fundraising event and it is believed to be the biggest charity raceday in British racing.